JASIN: Two traditional retail shops in Merlimau created history when they became a pioneer batch of sundry shops to be transformed and modernised. Maznah Gemilang Enterprise and Pasar Mini Baru Merlimau were part of the 500 traditional retail shops nationwide which would be modernised through the Small Retailer Transformation Programme (Tukar).The programme was implemented under the Wholesale and Retail area, which was among the 12 National Key Economic Areas (NKEAs).
This pioneering project will eventually be expanded to at least 5,000 outlets to be modernised throughout the nation by 2020.The implementation of this project is expected to contribute RM5.56 billion to the gross national income and create 51,540 new jobs by 2020. Also under the Tukar project, the modernisation of the shops is done with the assistance of Mydin, Carrefour and Tesco, as well as the Cooperatives Commission of Malaysia (CCM).
Mydin had given its commitment to modernise 100 retail shops this year, Carrefour, 400; Tesco, 150, and CCM, 100. Mydin, Carrefour and Tesco will take on the role of consultants to help give a new lease of life to the 500 traditional retail outlets in terms of preparation, training and others.Their involvement will be part of their corporate social responsibility to develop the local wholesale and retail sector.
Each of the participating retail outlets will also be assisted financially by the government through Bank Rakyat, which will be providing loans ranging from RM20,000 to RM60,000.In Merlimau, Mydin had been selected to spearhead the transformation of Maznah Gemilang Enterprise and Pasar Mini Baru Merlimau, in terms of layout, management, accounting and the adoption of more professional practices in the operations of the shops.The venture had reaped many benefits for the two outlets as their income and customer base had increased. The two outlets underwent the transformation and modernisation phase on Feb 15.
Maznah Gemilang Enterprise proprietor Mahmud Mohamad, 47, said the move would help sundry shops to stay competitive with hypermarkets."We received guidance from Mydin, but we can still compete with them."This shows the government is concerned over small businesses and their sustainability."The price of the goods sold are also at par, if not lower than other outlets, as we are giving an alternative to the people in Merlimau to obtain value for their money."I was making about RM3,200 a day before my shop was transformed, but now sales have gone up to RM5,000 a day".Another retailer who has benefited from the Tukar initiative, J. Francisca, 44, said since the transformation about a week ago, sales had shot up from below RM2,000 to not less than RM3,000 a day."I thank the government for realising my dream and that of my father, S. Jeyanathan, who started the business seven years ago," she said, adding that her father died three years ago.