Thai home improvement chain sets up shop in Malaysia

Focusing on Malaysia: Teh says the compnay will be opening another outlet in the Klang Valley by end of the year.

With home ownership rising across the region, Thailand’s leading one-stop home product centre is expanding its wings to Malaysia with hopes of gaining market share and diversifying its portfolio.

Home Product Center Public Co Ltd (HomePro) — which has been in business for over three decades — recently opened its doors at IOI City Mall, Putrajaya.

This is the brand’s first outlet outside of its home country.

Established in 1995 with initial registered capital of 150mil baht (RM30million), HomePro is a joint venture between Land and Houses Public Co Ltd, Quality Home Public Co Ltd, American International Assurance Co Ltd.

The company was listed on the stock exchange of Thailand in 2001 with an objective to operate a retail business in home improvement with a complete range of products and services relating to refurbishment and renovation of buildings, houses and residence places.

During the launch — attended by Selangor Standing Committee for Entrepreneurship Development chairman Amirudin Shari, HomePro Thailand chairman Anant Asavabhokhin, and HomePro Malaysia managing director Anuchar Jitjaturunt — the company stated its vision to be the top all-in-one home solution centre in Asean.

“Starting with Malaysia, we aim to achieve this by providing our Malaysian customers the widest variety of quality products along with heartfelt customer service, all under one roof,” said Anuchar.

HomePro’s first investment outside Thailand signals the beginning of the company’s rapid expansion plans into the Asean region.

According to published reports, Asean countries are among the top 10 growing retail markets in Asia with Vietnam leading the way with projected 48% growth followed by Malaysia at 43%.

Nielsen, a leading global information and measurement company, states that for local giants, or home-grown companies operating within one or a few markets in South-East Asia, the region’s 600 million consumers represent vast opportunity, as, of course, do the two billion consumers in Asia.

“It took us about three years to venture into Malaysia. We started our research back in 2012 and Malaysia had great market potential,” said HomePro Malaysia vice-president Teh Ah Hock.

“Malaysia’s business friendly environment and the similarities between both cultures (Thailand and Malaysia) made it easy for us to transition into this market.

“Steady economic growth and good housing development projects also helps,” he added.

Located on the lower ground floor of the West Wing of the mall, the store occupies 100,000 sq ft of floor space.

“We looked at many different locations before settling in Putrajaya. The area has one of the highest rates of population growth in the country and there are many expats in Cyberjaya. We believe this will be a good catchment area for the business,” Teh explained.

Having set its sights on regional expansion, the company plans to roll out another 12 stores in Malaysia within the next few years with a capital investment of around RM500mil and creating close to 2,000 job opportunities.

This will add to the company’s already existing 70 branches in its home country.

“Even though we have a plan for regional expansion, we are focused on growing our Malaysian business. We will be opening one more location in the Klang Valley by end of the year and it will be a standalone outlet,” Teh says.

Providing Malaysian consumers a one-stop solution for all home improvement needs through a complete range of home products and services tied to refurbishment and renovation, HomePro promises local consumers a hassle-free shopping experience across all their building and home improvement needs.

“We categories these needs into three separate sections within the store. These concepts are ‘Build It’, ‘Improve It’, and ‘Live It’,” he said.

The “Build It” concept is about building and designing the house from scratch. It includes basic things that every customer needs for a house, such as hardware, construction material, hand and power tools sets, different designs of door and windows, paint, electrical items, gardening tools and much more.

The “Improve It” concept focuses on home improvement and maintenance after a makeover once a customer has completed the “Build It” stage.

Products that customers can look for are tiles and ceramics, kitchen cabinet, bathroom accessories, home appliances, lighting and so on.

Lastly, the “Live It” concept is about ‘touch ups and living with style. Products in this section allow customers to decorate and provide the final touches on their individual styles.

Customers will find a wide variety of products in terms of design, choice and vibrant colours, ranging from bedding, mattress, covers and comforters, pillows and cushions, wallpaper for all kind of rooms including bathrooms, carpets and much more.

HomePro insists that it is not in the market to outdo the smaller mom-and-pop hardware stores that have been the bread and butter of homeowners in this country.

“We do not just provide tools and items for the household, but also ideas and concepts. We have in house interior designers and contractors that can help each and every customer,” said Teh.

“We do not see ourselves competing with smaller players. We have fixed all our prices and it does not vary based on customers. What you see is what you get.

“We are even working with independent contractors who find it easy to shop here for all their items,” he added.

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Business , Central Region , Nevash Nair , HomePro , retail


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