Giant Malaysia opens seven stores as it accelerates upgrade program

Giant Malaysia opened seven new-generation stores on a single day last week as Dairy Farm International-owned GCH Retail upgrades the retail-grocery brand. 

Since May of this year, the company has upgraded 21 Giant stores in Malaysia, including 14 in the Klang Valley region of greater Kuala Lumpur. Friday’s openings were all in Johor. 

The new stores fall into three sub-brands: hypermarkets, supermarkets and superstores. 

“The new concept was designed to create a modern shopping environment in our stores and more product diversity to better serve the needs and wants of the customers,” a spokesperson told Inside Retail Asia. 

“Showcasing an attractive systematic layout, shoppers will now find it easier to navigate their way through the hypermarket.”

Giant stores across Malaysia will be progressively upgraded to the new look during the coming months.

“The focus is on freshening up and lifting the brand, while the team works at improving the offer according to customer needs and preferences.”

The seven Johor stores consist of Giant Hypermarket Plentong, Giant Hypermarket Leisure Mall, Giant Hypermarket Southern City, Giant Hypermarket Tampoi, Giant Superstore Kulai IOI, Giant Superstore Ulu Tiram and Giant Supermarket Perling Mall.

The newly refurbished stores dispel the myth being propagated by some mainstream media in Malaysia that Giant is shrinking its store network or even preparing to exit the market. Giant has been in the country for more than 70 years and last year GCH Retail opened a RM116 million (US$27.6 million) fresh distribution centre to serve its Giant, Cold Storage, Jason’s Food Hall and Mercato banners. 

“The fresh new look of these stores are a testament to Giant’s commitment to constantly reinvent to provide communities with greater variety of fresh and quality products at the best value and cultivate a more sustainable society,” the spokesperson said. 

The new-format stores feature a bright and light environment, with vibrant colour schemes and bold category signage. 

The product range has been streamlined in each store to expand the fresh food offer and improve its quality.

A Flat Price Zone features products set at a fixed price points of RM1, RM3, RM5, RM10 and RM15. An expanded Kids Zone features a wide variety of toys and stationery for children. 

The relaunched Giant stores will also feature an expanded range of electrical products comprising reputable brands and Giant Malaysia’s own-brand cookware and gadgets. 

ShopSmart! fills a gap

Dairy Farm has also been rolling out its new minimarket format, ShopSmart! since March, which has a focus on fresh food and household essentials

Six stores have already opened, with a seventh due to come online during the next few weeks. 

The format has been designed in response to changing customer preferences in Malaysia identified by GCH Retail, such as more frequent ‘everyday shopping’, smaller basket sizes and a desire for stores to be located in residential areas for consumer conveniences. 

“There’s a heavy focus on fresh food offerings for customers’ everyday meals, with a wide range of instant services also available such as bill payments, mobile top-up and cash-outs. They also offer ready-to-eat and ready-to-cook meal options.”

The first ShopSmart! store was launched in Taman Melawati, Kuala Lumpur.

The GCH Retail spokesperson told Inside Retail Asia that the company’s overall focus in Malaysia right now is on resizing and reshaping the business to get a better focus on fresh, and to ensure the business has formats that are right for the future.

“By understanding the customer better – through data-driven insights – we can better cater to customers’ changing shopping patterns and needs more effectively.

“This long-term investment in the store base will lead to a stronger, more sustainable business going forward for the benefit of our customers and our team members.”

Meanwhile, GCH Retail’s fresh-food distribution centre in Kajang, which marks its first anniversary next month, occupies 25,000sqm of land, with a built-up area of 10,950sqm. 

The facility procures and distributes fresh produce, meats and seafood to stores across Malaysia.

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