Convenience store’s growth poses minimal threat to hypermarts

These stores largely cater to customer’s urgent purchases

by AUFA MARDHIAH / pic by TMR FILE

THE emergence of foreign-based convenience stores such as FamilyMart and CU would pose minimal threat to hypermarkets as it serves its own niche market.

Lotus’s Malaysia ED Vivian Yap said based on customer’s feedback, convenience stores mainly cater to a basic customer shopping mission of fulfilling a top-up shop whereas hypermarkets like Lotus’s function to fulfil their monthly shop or weekly basket shop.

“This is driven by the difference of offer. Lotus’s offers the convenience of a one-stop shopping experience, where you can purchase a wide selection of products like grocery, fresh produce, clothing and appliances all under one roof.

“We remain to offer consumers quality and freshness in our products, value for their money with fair pricing and variety in rewards and promotions,” she said.

Yap further said that Lotus’s has also seen a growth in online spending mainly through Lotus’s online and other e-commerce platforms like Lazada, Shoppee, HappyFresh, foodpanda and Grab where its products are also available.

“With the growing trend, we are currently enhancing our Lotus’s online platform to provide customers a delightful and personalised shopping experience and looking into new potential partnerships with emerging e-commerce and contactless payment providers,” said Yap.

FamilyMart redefined the concept of convenience store with its new retail concept “Food Superstores” which focused on ready-to-eat and microwavable meals, tearing down the convenience store sector largely dominated by 7-Eleven and MyNews.

Convenience stores like MyNews, FamilyMart and 7-Eleven have all recorded rapid growth both in footfall and sales since the pandemic hit the country, propelling them to enter larger segments of the market. CU, the new kid on the block has plans to open up 500 stores gradually in the country.

Mydin Holdings Bhd MD Datuk Ameer Ali said hypermarkets will be the place for customers to make weekend purchases, while convenience stores largely cater to urgent purchases.

Shifting of shopping trends from physical to online medium also does not affect Mydin due to Mydin Express, the company’s seamless online hypermart.

“Mydin has Mydin Express as an online medium to cater to the difference of customer purchase. We just have to adjust to the current shopping trend in the pandemic era,” said Ameer.

Ameer also notified that by some means, the increase in prices have definitely affected the purchasing per basket which has gone down but Mydin’s footfall is slowly increasing.

Meanwhile, Lotus’s too have seen a reduction in basket size and a growing interest in Lotus’s “Own Brand” range that are of quality and good value.

Commenting further on the recent price hike, Yap concluded that price will always be a hot topic, hence, Lotus’s always reviews its value proposition to focus on lines that matters most to customers.

“Lotus’s ‘Own Brand’ range of products is a big attraction to many discerning customers who look for good quality at affordable prices. Our products taste as good, work as well as any national brand but at much lower costs, that’s why our customers continue to support our brands.

“Our customers earn points for their shopping which they can convert into vouchers or use to pay for purchases at the checkout. Due to that, our loyal customers enjoy even greater savings,” Yap told TMR.