The Store Corp Bhd expects to open 1 or 2 more outlets this year, most likely in the east coast or the southern region of the peninsula, according to group finance director Chang Yen Huei.
“In the past few years, on the average, we opened about 2 new outlets a year. In the east coast, we are looking at Pahang, Kelantan and Terengganu, and in the southern region, it is Johor and Malacca,” he told reporters after the signing of an agreement with NEC Corp Malaysia Sdn Bhd, Oracle Corp Malaysia Sdn Bhd and Solsis (M) Sdn Bhd for a new information management system in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
According to him, the cost of opening a new outlet ranges from RM5mil to RM20mil, depending on the size.
On the refurbishment of existing outlets, Chang said it was normal for the group to upgrade 1 or 2 outlets a year based on its provision of RM5mil.
On competition from the hypermarkets, he said the hypermarkets were not direct competitors as they operated in a different segment of the retail sector. The retailer, which has been recording an average of 5% growth in sales in the last 5 years, hopes to improve on that growth figure with the implementation of the new information management system for the next financial year. The Store has started infrastructure works for the new system with completion targeted for September. The RM15mil system would cost between RM1.5mil and RM3mil to maintain annually, Chang said.
NEC Malaysia is providing the application software called “Retail Management Centre”, a fully integrated retail management solution catering to supermarkets, department stores as well as supporting multi-store concepts.
“The system will give us the flexibility to vary to pricing of certain items to cater to customers' needs in different locations while allowing us to standardise the pricing of another group of items,” Chang said.
Meanwhile, Oracle will offer the “Database Management System” and Solsis the “Wide Area Network and Communication Infrastructure System.” The Store operates the largest and oldest existing supermarket and department store in Malaysia, with a total of 37 outlets in Peninsular Malaysia. It opened its 1st store in Bukit Mertajam, Penang in 1968.