Retail in Asia

In Shops

Japan’s FamilyMart eyes 1,000 Malaysian stores by 2025

FamilyMart, the world’s second-largest convenience store chain, said on 2 December it is considering an expansion of up to 1,000 stores by 2020 in Malaysia, its newest overseas market. The growth will be made possible via a franchise business model in partnership with QL Resources, one of Malaysia’s largest agro-food companies, at a time when economic uncertainty has resulted in a sluggish retail market. FamilyMart is setting itself apart from competitors by bringing the “konbini” convenience store concept from Japan. Of the nearly 2,000 items on sale in each store, about 5% are developed by FamilyMart using locally-sourced ingredients from QL, the largest surimi, or fish paste, maker in Asia. SEE ALSO: FamilyMart to double stores in Thailand, take on 7-Eleven  Going forward, stores in Malaysia will offer courier services, including delivery and collection, as well as bill payments, said Chia, who is the son of Chia Song Kun, QL’s founder and group managing director. Chia added that the group has earmarked up to 20 million ringgit ($4.5 million) annually for the store expansion. The convenience store unit is in the process of applying for halal certification in order to cater to a wider Muslim audience, although all current food items on offer are made from ingredients free of pork and alcohol. FamilyMart is looking at locations with high levels of foot-traffic in commercial business districts as well as malls. The group believes the consumer market in Malaysia has evolved like it has in other developed countries; from shopping for daily needs in department stores, to general stores and now increasingly to convenience stores.