Thursday, October 6, 2011

Giant to open 5 new stores by year-end

KUALA LUMPUR: Hypermarket chain Giant will be launching five new stores across Malaysia by year-end, said chief operating officer of GCH Retail (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd Tom Herriott.

"We will be launching stores in Cheras, Ipoh, two in East Malaysia and one more in Penang," he said after the launch of the enhanced Giant Citibank Credit Card on Thursday, Oct 6.

Depending on store size, each outlet would cost up to RM80 million, he said.

"We are always looking for new potential sites, especially in secondary towns," he said.

He also said that the recently-closed Giant in USJ1 would be replaced by December 2012 with a brand-new outlet that would be "the number-one hypermarket in USJ1".

Herriott denied that the closing of the USJ1 branch had anything to do with competition from the nearby Mydin, saying that despite the fact competition from rival supermarkets was a main challenge going forward, "it is good for the consumers.

"Consumers should be allowed to choose where they shop," said Herriott, who also expressed hope that the new budget would benefit mid-to-lower level consumers.

When asked about the 30% target for sale of domestic goods, Herriott said that consumers were very brand-conscious, which was a major obstacle.

"We have displayed and fast-tracked these products made by local SMEs into our stores, but customers prefer their Milo, their Ribena."

He added that Giant's in-house brand sales amounted to 12% of total sales.

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