by AZALEA AZUAR / Pic Source: www.tesco.com.my
LOTUSS Stores (M) Sdn Bhd (Lotus’s Malaysia), formerly known as Tesco Stores (M) Sdn Bhd, targets to complete its rebranding exercise in all its stores by end of 2021.
Lotus’s Malaysia president Kenneth Chua said the company intends to continue its investment to open up more stores in the country to cater to growing retail demand.
“Our target is to complete (rebranding of) all our stores by the end of this year…We are looking at some slight adjustment on the timeline due to the standard operating procedures right now because of the Full Movement Control Order,” Chuah explained.
Lotus’s Malaysia launched its second and third flagship stores in Penang and Johor yesterday.
He added that Lotus’s Malaysia is expanding its e-commerce platform as more customers are opting for online shopping, particularly to maintain social distancing amid the Covid-19 infection outbreak.
“We are definitely looking out for all opportunities that are available to work with third parties and other players in the market to improve first of all the online experience. Not just in terms of sales, but also about the experience and of course, to be able to serve them better,” said Chuah.
Looking at the growing demand for online shopping, the company is expanding their capacity online.
“Our app that we have right now and the web page will be improved in the future for a smoother, seamless omnichannel experience. And, of course, we will expand our capacity to serve our customers moving forward as well.”
Lotus’s Malaysia has also decided to eliminate the use of single-use plastic bags at its checkout counters.
This is in line with the Malaysian government’s Roadmap to Zero Single-Use Plastics 2018-2030, which targets the country to be cleaner and environmentally sustainable by 2030.
This move comes with the message “Bring Home Change” or “Bawa Pulang Perubahan”, in which a simple act of reusing a bag can make a huge difference to the environment and it is also aligned with Lotus’s Malaysia’s parent company’s, Charoen Pokphand Group (CP Group), sustainability business principles.
The initiative has already been implemented in Lotus’s E-Gate, Penang, on Tuesday, followed by Lotus’s Desa Tebrau, Johor, yesterday.
By July 1, all of Lotus’s Malaysia’s 60 stores nationwide will stop using single-use plastic bags at checkout counters.
Lotus’s E-Gate was chosen as the first of its stores to implement the policy following Penang being the first state in Malaysia to adopt a no single-use plastic bags back in 2009.
“As part of the CP Group, we recognise the importance and necessity of solving the problem of plastic waste. Our initiative to no longer offer single-use plastic bags at our checkout counters aligns with the parent company’s own sustainable business principles,” Chuah explained.
The group and its parent company are committed to promoting and conserving the quality of the environment, as well as educating and fostering engagement in consumer behavioural change for sustainable development.
Chuah also said they are also planning to create a recycable package for their “Own Brand” products which is currently in the works.
According to Lotus’s Malaysia corporate services director Azliza Azmel, a majority of their customers support the move.
“We can create awareness (about) these little sacrifices (while) thinking about our future generation, and that the little self-sacrifices are a big deal.
“So bringing change, as we say, begins with one single bag,” she said.
Eliminating single-use plastic bags is a sacrifice worth making and Azliza believes the younger generation are more aware about the effects of climate change.
Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow feels that this move by Lotus’s Malaysia will be a game changer on how the retail industry as a whole manages the sustainability of plastic use in the supply chain.
“While plastic is convenient and relatively cheap to be used, we have become over-reliant on single-use or disposable plastic with severe environmental consequences.
“These unsustainable patterns generate a vast amount of waste, much of it eventually becoming marine litter, which has choked our oceans and waterways,” he commented.
Chow said this is another reason why the Penang state government made it mandatory for households to segregate its waste source before disposing of it, as well as banning the use of plastic straws while encouraging paper ones.
“In our ongoing efforts to achieve a sustainable future for all, we need leaders in the retail industry to lead the way. Lotus’s Malaysia, with its network of 62 stores nationwide, is the largest retailer in the country to embark on this initiative and we hope that other retailers, big or small, will take notice and make a change just like Lotus’s Malaysia,” he continued.
Customers who use their own reusable bags when they checkout at the store’s counters will earn eight Clubcard points for each bag. The accumulated points can be converted into cash vouchers.
They may either bring their own bags to shop or purchase Lotus’s Malaysia’s reusable bags that come in four variants with prices ranging from RM0.50 to RM9.90.