DAESCO Hypermarket and Departmental Store, Sibu’s first hypermarket, is expected to open in July next year with the completion of Star Mega Mall.
Developed by Daesim Group, the RM40mil mall with floor space of 85,000 square metres is 80% completed. Daesco is slated to be the anchor tenant,
“We will be the biggest all-in-one shopping mall providing the most complete shopping experience for customers in the central region,” Daesim Group chairman Lau Ngie Hua told StarMetro.
Daesco is a subsidiary of the Daesim Group managed by Lau’s children.
Lau said the retail environment in the central region would undergo significant changes when the mall and three other hypermarkets were completed in the next three years.
“Ultimately, consumers will benefit from more competitive prices and be able to buy a variety of goods in a modern environment,” he said, adding that the service, facilities and quality of goods would be at par with those offered in Kuala Lumpur.
Lau said he had planned the hypermarket and the mall 12 years ago but construction began only in August 2007 after the approvals were obtained. It is sited on 4ha in Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman about 6km from the Sibu town centre.
“It is on high ground not affected by flooding and just 20 minutes from most commercial and residential areas in Sibu,” he added.
He said he was prepared to face competition from hypermarkets such as Giant and E-MAS which would open for business by the end of 2011.
Daesco would take up 50,000 square metres on the first and second floors of the mall, he added.
More than 10% of the remaining 35,000 square metres on the basement and ground floor have been booked by outlets selling fast food, shoes, gifts and electrical goods and for beauty and hair saloons, entertainment centres and car-wash companies.
The mall will have a 3,600 square metres exhibition hall on the ground floor and more than 1,000 parking bays, 200 of them in the basement. The open-air parking area can accommodate 350 motorcycles.
Lau, 58, had a very humble beginning. He started as a night market trader with his wife Wong Pik Hung in 1974. They sold fashionable buttons, thread and clothing.
In 1977, they expanded by setting up Hua Hiap Trading at Sarawak House Shopping Complex and set up a branch in Channel Road two years later.
In 1984, they started trading under the name Star General Trading.
In the past 26 years, Star General Trading expanded to operate 20 shops in Central Road, High Street and Kampong Nyabor Road in Sibu town.
Lau said the shops had more than 400 employees and dealt in everything found in hypermarkets.
Daesco, he added, would employ at least 500 workers.
“We will keep all the existing businesses. I will manage them while my sons and daughter run the hypermarket,” he said.
Asked about the secret to his success, Lau said one had to work very hard, persevere and know how to manage wealth.
“In the past 30 years, I have worked from six in the morning until midnight every day. Working is my hobby and passion,” he quipped.