KHAZANAH, a store dealing in imported goods from India such as wall hangings, cushion covers, hanging lamps, lampshades, wooden furniture, bric-a-brac, silk scarves and costume jewellery, is looking to open two more outlets.
These plans were given added impetus when Khazanah recently won KLCC Suria's biannual Retailer Awards, an incentive programme designed by the complex's management, to encourage top-class performance by its retailers in a number of areas.
Owned by Shensi Art, a sole proprietary helmed by Mano Veerasingam, the store takes on its trade name of Khazanah.
Barely into its second year of existence, it has won what can be considered a serious accolade as the criteria set for winning are rather stringent.
I am very pleased at winning, of course. And besides, this puts me in a very good position regarding my plans to open two more stores. I believe Khazanah won because of our insistence on quality customer service and our belief in providing value for money,'' Veerasingam told StarBiz in an interview last Thursday.
Veerasingam said that being a retailer at the KLCC Suria helped to open doors easily in certain upmarket shopping complexes in the Klang Valley with regard to renting retail lots.
He said that under those circumstances, it was easier to get an appointment to meet with the management of such complexes to discuss rental terms and conditions, by no means an easy task normally as such places generally had long waiting lists of applicants.
Close to a quarter of a million ringgit has been invested in the venture, according to Veerasingam. He said business had been relatively good.
While he attributed a good part of it to efforts of the KLCC Suria management, he nevertheless pointed out that a carefully planned business philosophy, and even more careful observation and fine-tuning of daily business operations contribute to the success the store enjoys.
To ensure our goods move, we need to keep changing them all the time and this can only come from very close observation of customers' needs and demands as well as constantly changing trends, he said.
Veerasingam said while business from tourists was a good thing, it remained nevertheless a transient business. The patronage of locals would be better for the long term as there was always the possibility of repeat business.
On his expansion plans, Veerasingam said expansion as he termed it, did not mean opening as many stores as possible but rather expanding within a given complex where he already operated, if possible.
Veerasingam said he intended to open one store each at 1 Utama and the Bangsar shopping centre both carefully selected according to very specific criteria.
1 Utama customers generally live in their own homes and can be expected to purchase unique items for their houses, say some of my wall hangings or curtains, or perhaps even items of furniture that they wouldn't be able to get elsewhere, he said.
Khazanah, he said, would have to avoid a touristy feel and instead project one that would appeal to a particular catchment.
The store at Bangsar will have to cater to a mixed population, with equally large numbers of the three main races plus a sizeable expatriate population, and also require careful planning on its mix of goods, with a sharp eye on customer demands.
Here, shoppers fall roughly into two categories. They are serious weekday shoppers who come in and spend; and weekend shoppers, who tend to browse a lot as often they bring along their family, he said.
One major point Khazanah will not depart from, according to Veerasingam, is that it will continue to provide value for money while placing a strong emphasis on customer service, a formula that has served the store well as evinced by the Retailer Awards.
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