EACH year, we read success stories of businesses that have grown so much since their inception.
It is no different for SSF Sdn Bhd, one of the best living-concept stores and home living solutions providers in Malaysia.
SSF was just an ordinary artificial flower shop when it first opened its doors in 1987.
It certainly bloomed because it now has 22 showrooms across the country, with a total shop area of more than 500,000sq ft.
Each showroom has more than 20 departments, encompassing home décor, bedding, kitchenware, artificial flowers, bathroom, ready- and custom-made curtains, lighting, carpet as well as wedding accessories.
The store also boasts a variety of innovative design themes including French, Victorian, Oriental, English, fusion and modern.
SSF prides itself on providing lower prices in the market with exclusive and exquisite home furniture and household goods.
What makes it different is that it is a one-stop solution provider which offers various products for every member in a family.
It also has the ability to mix and match its unique products, offering customers ideas and inspiration of a bigger concept and comfortable home.
Wrapping up the year with the MetroBiz team was SSF Sdn Bhd purchasing and marketing senior manager Castor Yong.
He tells us of the brand’s achievements in 2015, which is the opening of four showrooms at Amanjaya Mall (Kedah), One Borneo Hypermall (Sabah), Taiping Sentral Mall (Perak), and Hartamas Shopping Centre (Kuala Lumpur).
The grand opening of these showrooms were also held simultaneously, making it a highlight for the company.
Even though the market was soft due to the implementation of the GST, the overall sales for SSF in 2015 increased as more people were aware of the products sold at SSF instead of just artificial flowers.
This boosted the confidence of the SSF team and they are set to open more outlets in the coming year.
Yong shares with us what was to come in 2016 for SSF.
More than six outlets are expected to open, including one each in Miri and Kuching following the huge response towards the two outlets in Sabah.
Yong also points out that before the outlets were opened in Sabah and Sarawak, many would travel to the peninsula to get their items from SSF, but shipping was an issue.
Therefore, with the objective of offering convenience to their customers, SSF decided to expand to Sabah and Sarawak.
Currently, every state in the country has at least one SSF outlet except Perlis and Terengganu.
“Now we understand the needs of our customers better. We are more accurate in predicting what they would like to have in their homes.
“Furthermore, we have a good pricing strategy as we have positioned ourselves as a hypermarket store in furniture line; basically selling more products at lower prices,” says Yong.
Another exciting feature for SSF that will kick-start in the second quarter next year is going e-commerce.
“It is targeted more to our existing customers because they would have already visited the outlets often enough to know what our products are and who we are. New customers would definitely want to go to the outlet and have a feel of the items before making a decision.
“Our objective to have the online store is so that when our branches don’t have a certain item, customers can get it online and we can deliver the products over,” said Yong, adding that they are in the midst of finalising the logistics.
Besides opening more branches, SSF aims to emphasise its licensing of business to interested entrepreneurs.
SSF opened its first outlet operating under the company’s licensing concept in Metro Town, Sabah.
With the objective of opening more outlets to reach more customers, SSF wants to target more of the smaller towns and secondary cities for the licensing business.
“Investment in an SSF outlet will be low as the showroom will have a ‘compact’ concept – between 3,000sq ft and 5,000 sq ft compared to the average of 15,000 sq ft of our current outlets. Manpower is smaller, operation cost lower, and we will only sell the major products that we think will suit the taste and preference of the customers,” encourages Yong.
Currently there are five licensing packages offered: SSF home décor, furniture, curtain, bridal dais and decorations, and a concept package – but these are subject to changes from time to time.
Members of SSF can also look forward to its Member Day, which takes place every Chinese New Year and Hari Raya.
For the coming Chinese New Year, members can look forward to enjoying up to 30% discount on items store-wide.
Touching on the current trend, Yong said more people are searching for products that have more than one function.
To illustrate, a treasure chest can be used to store things inside; it can also be used as a decoration in the living room, and it can also function as a coffee table.
This can be quite challenging yet fun for Yong and his team as they would need to consider this factor when searching and procuring items during their travels around Asia.
The new year will be an exciting one for SSF as it goes full swing with the opening of many more outlets, licensing as well as taking the business online.
SSF’s long-term goal is to one day become a champion in all sectors of home living.
Those who want to know more about the licensing of SSF business can call Else Wong at 017-260 4308 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.