KUCHING: It is now more convenient for consumers to experience Astro’s products and services following the opening of its new Astro Lifestyle Centre at Boulevard shopping mall here.
This is the first lifestyle concept store to be opened by Astro in Sarawak and Sabah, and it is the fourth nationwide.
Astro chief commercial officer Liew Swee Lin said the store was designed to serve as a one-stop centre for customers to experience for themselves its entertainment offerings such as high definition, personal video recording, video-on-demand and Astro-on-the-Go.
Its location in a shopping centre also means that it is open seven days a week and customers can drop by while shopping.
“The centre showcases the multi-dimensions of Astro’s entertainment. Customers can discover and experiment with our products and services. They can experience our products before buying or try out different packages before choosing the ones that suit them,” she told reporters at the centre’s opening yesterday.
In addition, various customer services are available at the centre, including payment of bills, signing up for new accounts, upgrading and reconnection, enquiries and replacement of smartcards and remote controls.
Liew said Sarawak and Sabah represented an important customer base for Astro, with 380,000 subscribers in both states out of its 3.5 million subscribers nationwide.
“Currently 45% of households in Sarawak and Sabah have either Astro or our Njoi satellite television service.
“We intend to serve up to 70% or 80% of households in future, and one way to achieve that is to get closer to the community through our lifestyle concept store.
“With it, we will be able to build a deeper engagement with customers,” she said.
Liew also said Astro recently launched several new packages which had received a positive response from customers.
For instance, she said three Value Packs offering vernacular channels in high definition had been taken up by about 80,000 customers since being introduced two months ago.
She added that the Njoi service had a very good take-up rate in Sarawak and Sabah since its launch in February last year.
“About 25%-30% of our Njoi base is in Sabah and Sarawak. We have 4,000 new sign-ups for Njoi every month in these two states as well as 33,000-35,000 customers activating prepaid vouchers for the service each month,” she said.
Njoi offers 20 television and 20 radio channels without a monthly subscription. Customers only need to pay RM280 upfront for the set-top box and satellite dish as well as installation.
They can then choose to watch additional programmes by topping up their credit with prepaid vouchers.
Astro’s East Malaysia customer division regional manager Alison Lau said Njoi was popular in Sarawak and Sabah because of logistics.
“A lot of people live in rural areas where it’s difficult for them to make monthly payments and where they don’t have television transmission. Njoi offers them these channels like RTM as well as our own channels for cooking, local sports and entertainment.
“So it serves the need of the rural areas and works out well for Sabah and Sarawak,” she said.
The centre was opened by Kuching South mayor Datuk James Chan, while children from the Salvation Army Boys Home and Kuching Lifecare Centre were invited to join in the festivities.
A two-day carnival is being held in conjunction with the opening, featuring appearances by Cartoon Network characters such as Finn and Jake, street magicians and Astro Star Quest champion Esther Thian.