Malaysian market still has higher purchasing power than in Japan
By SHAHEERA AZNAM SHAH / Pic By MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
While the hypermarket business faces challenges, AEON BiG (M) Sdn Bhd remains optimistic and intends to tap into the e-commerce market in Malaysia.
AEON BiG MD Masayoshi Masuda said the hypermarket franchise has experienced a single-digit growth in revenue since last year due to weakening demands.
“In the last couple of years we had quite a rough year, but we managed to recover slowly. As at September 2017, our revenue grew 0.8%,” he said.
With 21 branches nationwide, Masuda said Malaysian market still has higher purchasing power than in Japan.
“For example, in Japan, the current Japanese population holds 60% of citizens below 65 years old, compared to Malaysian, which stands at around 95%. The buying power is clearly stronger here,” he said at the 5th Anniversary of AEON BiG in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
Venturing into e-commerce market will be one of the company’s strategy to keep up with Malaysian spending habits.
“We acknowledge that some of our competitors are far ahead in providing online grocery service.
As far as the details go, I can say that we will not follow what our competitors do. It is definitely going to involve some innovation and it will be catered to more Japanese brands and products,” Masuda explained.
Commenting on the country’s small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) industry, he said currently AEON BiG displays 5% of SME products due to some hitch in demand and logistics.
“Although we have been trying to meet the government’s target to have at least 30% of the industry’s products in hypermarkets, we encountered several problems with the SME suppliers such as logistics and the ability to supply in larger scale,” he said.
AEON BiG is a subsidiary of the AEON Co Ltd that took over the loss-making supermarket, Carrefour, from a France-based Magnificient Diagraph Sdn Bhd in October 2012.
Meanwhile, Deputy Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism (KPDNKK) Minister Datuk Henry Sum Agong who was present at the anniversary event said that any solid actions relating to realising the 1Malaysia People’s Shop (KR1M) 2.0 will be resumed next year.
KPDNKK Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin had said that 3,000 KR1M 2.0 stores are expected to start operation by 2020.