50-sen nasi lemak a sure-fire way to lure customers


BUTTERWORTH: A hawker here has demonstrated a marketing strategy called loss leader with dramatic success.

His stall sells prawn fritters, spring rolls and other snacks, but every morning, it is his nasi lemak that triggers a buying frenzy.

The reason? It is only 50 sen a packet.

When Wong Kum Soon, 48, opens his hawker stall at 7am, a barrage of customers almost immediately crowds his stall for his nasi lemak.

The Star visited his stall in Taman Tanjung Aman near Jalan Raja Uda and watched his clients grab five to 10 packets in one go.

It happened so fast that assistant chief photographer Mustafa Ahmad hardly had time to capture the rush after recording video clips of the scene for TheStarTV.com.

In less than 30 minutes, the horde cleaned out the nasi lemak and Wong would carry on selling the rest of his offerings until 3pm.

Loss leaders are products sold at cost or even at a loss to draw customers and stimulate the sale of other products sold at normal prices.This retail marketing strategy has existed since the 1950s and is practised by hypermarkets, too.

Wong used to be the regional sales manager for a company in Kuala Lumpur but moved here, which is his wife’s hometown, eight years ago when he felt life in the federal capital was too stressful.

He became a hawker and started his loss leader strategy two weeks ago. The condiments in his little packets of nasi lemak are either eggs, salted fish, prawns or anchovies.

Wong prepares about 500 packets daily.

“Many workers and students come to buy them. I am happy to offer breakfast at such a price.

“Each packet gives me a profit of about 10 sen,” he said.


   

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