Still optimistic on Malaysian retail market

KUALA LUMPUR: Retailers met by SunBiz at the Malaysia International Retail & Franchise (MIRF) exhibition held last week, continue to be optimistic about the Malaysian market and the retail industry despite the exit of several international brands.

The Taiwanese franchisor for lifestyle bakery cafe Donutes opined that Malaysia is a mature market, with demand for food and beverage, especially staple items such as bread and coffee.

Baiwago Malayisa Sdn Bhd CEO James Cheng said despite the presence of many cafes and bakeries in the market, some brands did not manage to sustain their business here. But Cheng is unperturbed by the exit of some international brands, as he said Donutes outlets have been performing well in Malaysia.

Donutes entered Malaysia in 2011 and has seven outlets now.
“We maintain an optimistic outlook on the Malaysian market and we continue to look for more franchisees to grow the business,” Cheng told SunBiz.

Marrybrown franchising & field services manager Danny Tan said Marrybrown’s brand has been established for 36 years and is a popular fried chicken franchise.

It is targeting to open 30 outlets in Malaysia this year, having opened 15 outlets in the first half of 2017 and plans to open the remaining 15 outlets in the second half of the year. It is also opening 15 outlets in China this year. It is growing fast In Myanmar too.

“Despite the economic situation, Marrybrown is still growing yearly,” Tan said.

Bagman Corp Sdn Bhd group CEO Datuk Liew Bin said media reports have bloated the whole issue, adding that it is not a cause for concern.
“When you do business, you must face the challenges. Closing and opening (of outlets) happen and it’s common,” Liew said.

Hippopo general manager Stephenie Tan said its baby spa business started in 2013 and is profitable. It has 12 outlets in Malaysia