Scheme's objective of upgrading traditional sundry shops achieved

Scheme's objective of upgrading traditional sundry shops achieved
Mr Syahadad Husin, saw his business improve by 40 per cent after joining a Malaysian government scheme called Tukar, which modernises old sundry shops.

KUALA LUMPUR - The Small Retailer Transformation Prog­ramme (Tukar) is bearing fruit despite initial hiccups.

Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu)'s NKEA wholesale and retail director D. Ravindran said the Auditor-General's Report recorded its satisfaction that Tukar had achieved its objectives in upgrading traditional "mom and pop" sundry shops to be more efficient and competitive.

Most of the stores showed enhanced performances, he said yesterday. This, he said, was also in line with an impact study last year which showed that 78 per cent of 616 stores, that had been in the programme for more than 12 months, had an increased revenue of at least 6 per cent.

"According to the study, 45 per cent of participants declared a revenue increase of at least 40 per cent. Of the 616 stores, 18 per cent had more than 100 per cent revenue increase."

The study also showed that 84 per cent of the 806 stores surveyed had complied with at least 70 per cent of all programme requirements.

Tukar participants, he said, were required to adhere to 32 checkpoints over eight categories including front facade, product arrangement and store layout, customer service and Point of Sale (POS) system to allow for better inventory and cash management.

Ravindran said as of April, Tukar had modernised 1,685 stores nationwide, inching closer to its 5,000 target by 2020.

The A-G's Report which audited 70 stores, found that 56 per cent or 39 stores had recorded an increase in sales. Of the 39 stores, 59 per cent or 23 stores recorded increase in sales of more than 50 per cent.

The report also stated that 26 per cent or 18 of the 70 stores showed no changes in sale value (17 per cent) or a decrease in revenue (9 per cent).

Ravindran attributed this to competition from other small retail chains, complacency, and the ability of Tukar store owners to maximise the sale returns, among others.

"At the end of the day, it is a cash business. We need to manage the cash judiciously. We have had some business owners who used that money to buy cars or houses instead of reinvesting in their stores," he said, adding that hypermarkets had signed up as Tukar consultants to help the modernisation effort.

The Domestic Trade, Coop­eratives and Consumerism Minis­try, he said, conducts training for Tukar participants but some did not attend due to several reasons including lack of transport and health problems as stated in the A-G's report.

The ministry's head of delivery management Mohd Fariszan Ahmad said they were conducting training nationwide to better equip Tukar store owners with the necessary skills including training traditional sundry owners to use the POS computer system.

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