Retailers adapting to new consumer behaviour


RETAILERS, particularly hypermarkets and supermarkets, are now focused on ensuring that they are well-stocked to cope with the change in consumer behaviour due to the Movement Control Order (MCO).

AEON Co (M) Bhd CEO and MD Shafie Shamsuddin said there is no shortage of supplies in hypermarkets and supermarkets, but both staff and shoppers have gone through an adaptation period to the new behaviour because general trade, night markets and restaurants, among others, are closed.

“More people buy eggs because they are the easiest to cook at home.

“These supplies are not directly linked to the modern retail, compared to restaurants and night markets, therefore we needed to adapt to the situation,” he told The Malaysian Reserve.

He said distribution centres for AEON and AEON Big are working around the clock to ensure that their stores receive enough supply.

Shafie added that the group’s facilities are equipped with temperature checks and sanitisation control at all entrances to keep its employees and shoppers safe.

To ensure that social distancing is respected, he said only a limited number of customers are allowed in the supermarkets and hypermarkets at one time.

“Customers must line up one metre apart from each other at all cashier counters, customer service counters and weighing scale counters.

“Sanitisation of trolleys is also done before the customers could use them,” Shafie said.

Mydin Mohamed Holdings Bhd MD Datuk Dr Ameer Ali Mydin said the hypermarket is also following the guidelines of social distancing during the MCO.

“We have a police officer who occasionally walks in the store to make sure that everyone is practising social distancing. We also have our own employees in the stores to remind customers about it.

“We also put one-metre markings on the floor to ensure that customers spilling out of the stores maintain their distance with one another,” he said.

Commenting on the supply of goods, Ameer Ali said only key items like eggs, bread and hand sanitisers are out of stock.

The MCO started on March 18 for an initial period of 14 days until March 31.

However, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced yesterday that it has been extended for two more weeks until April 14 due to the daily increase of new Covid-19 cases.

He added that the trend is expected to remain for a while before the number of new cases start to decline.