KHJ ramps up digital presence, brick-and-mortar ops


The Ace Market-listed company has outlined a series of plans, including the expansion of its retail stores and investment in information technology system to boost its e-commerce business, despite the volatile situation.

KUALA LUMPUR: Retailer Kim Hin Joo (M) Bhd (KHJ) will continue to focus on its presence in Malaysia despite the Covid-19 pandemic, sluggish economic growth and poor consumer confidence, said managing director Pang Fu Wei.

The Ace Market-listed company has outlined a series of plans, including the expansion of its retail stores and investment in information technology system to boost its e-commerce business, despite the volatile situation.

“Capturing a larger market share by expanding both our online and physical presence remains top priority for our growth, while the Covid-19 crisis will continue to weigh on our minds in the short to medium term.

“But we anticipate more space will be available at attractive rental rates over the next six to 12 months and we will look into increasing our total store footprint in response to this, ” he told Bernama.

Pang said the company has also allocated RM2mil of its capital expenditure to upgrade its physical infrastructure, costs related to the implementation and licences for the new IT system.

He said the new website would be refreshed with better navigation and product information including stock availability by location, improved search function as well as new features such as one-hour click-and-collect service.

“In the new coronavirus economy, this ‘buy online and collect in-store’ feature is game-changing for us as it leverages our excess capacity in-store while solving our customer pain point of delayed deliveries, ” he added.

On its physical presence, KHJ has opened Mothercare and The Entertainer outlets in Kuantan. It is scheduled to open another outlet in Sabah but due to current situation, the opening date has not been finalised.

On the challenges faced during Covid-19, Pang said many issues stemming from the supply chain, movement control order, new restrictions and regulations, to maintaining positive cash flow have made it difficult to plan for anything as the situation changed on a daily basis.

“And we had to reorganise the way we did things to prioritise liquidity and agility in decision making. All our shipments from China have been delayed due to container shortages and fast forward to today, we are living in a new normal.

“We have ramped up our online business, expanded our range on Lazada, implemented new programmes such as Digital Nursery Advisor, and re-engineered our back-end pick process to manage the surge in online orders. As a result, our share of business in e-commerce has almost tripled this year, ” he said.

Pang said KHJ’s strategies concentrated on growing the store sales at its brick-and-mortar locations by introducing experiential store concept, store optimisation and widening its range of home and travel products, expanding presence in second-tier cities, and rolling out The Entertainer as well as building up online sales by rolling out an improved website and expanding into new marketplaces. — Bernama

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