19 August 2018

Tesco grows with smaller stores

Tesco grows with smaller stores
KUALA LUMPUR: Tesco Malaysia’s expansion to Malaysia was the right step for its parent company in the United Kingdom, as it seeks to boost its presence in Asia, corporate services director Azliza Baizura Azmel said.

She said the country was a good platform for Tesco to expand in the region due to its politically-stable environment, growing pool of skilled workers, status as a growing nation and accommodating policy framework and legal system.

Tesco Malaysia was one of the 100 beneficiaries of wholesale and retail national key area’s large-format stores, established to expand retailers’ scale and capabilities.

The National Transformation Programme Annual Report 2017 said this was targeted to attract private investment, increase competitiveness of the stores, provide more choices for consumers and create jobs.

In 2016, the sector employed 1.7 million people, an increase of 13 per cent compared with 1.5 million in 2010.

This has resulted in the establishment of 44 hypermarkets and 56 superstores, facilitating investments including RM1.27 billion from Abu Dhabi’s Lulu Group, which aims to set up 10 hypermarkets in Malaysia by 2020.
From the opening of Tesco’s first outlet in Puchong, Selangor, in 2002, Azliza said, Malaysia’s growth had been supported by facilitative policies and the government’s efforts to improve the ease of doing business in the country.

She said over the years, the government had enforced competition and data protection laws to ensure a level-playing field in the retail sector, thus attracting more foreign companies.

“The Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry’s recent decision to allow foreign-owned stores to expand with smaller premises has allowed Tesco to penetrate the small-format sector,” she said in the NTP report.

“At the end of the day, it’s always about the conversations we have with the ministry, which has always been attentive to our concerns.”

Azliza said the company would expand in Malaysia, in line with current retail trends where consumers preferred to shop in smaller stores near their homes.

Last year, Tesco launched its chain of new generation stores, which focus on time saving, increased value for money and the incorporation of technology, such as self-checkout counters.

She said the company was keen to leverage Malaysia’s talent pool for its staffing needs.

In collaboration with the Education Ministry, the company trained and upskilled young talent keen on working after completing secondary school to improve their employability.

Tesco works alongside homeless shelters, such as Anjung Singgah here, to provide jobs to the homeless, disabled and retirees.

She said Tesco would use technology to improve its services and expand its footprint in Malaysia.

Tesco offers real-time delivery through e-commerce platforms, such as Lazada and Happy Fresh, in addition to its own delivery service.

It also uses Facebook to interact with its consumers, allowing the chain to share information and receive feedback.

This is to ensure its services are in tandem with its stores in Europe and the United States.


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