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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Extended hours likely to push up retail sales

PETALING JAYA: The Government’s move to extend the business hours of hypermarkets and supermarkets should help boost retail sales, industry players said.

The move, which is part of the economic stimulus package, allows hypermarkets to extend their operating hours to 11pm on weekdays and 1am on weekends.

Supermarkets located in shopping malls can open up to 24 hours, subject to approval from the local government.

“It allows consumers more convenience in planning their buying activities and this may translate into better sales,” said Poh Ying Loo, senior general manager at Aeon Co (M) Bhd.

“Operators who can respond and adjust to the shift will benefit.”

Poh said Aeon would need to look into its business operational capacity and resources before deciding on any change in its operating hours.

Aeon currently has 19 Jusco stores and employs about 10,000 staff.

Its operating hours are from 10am to 10.30pm from Mondays to Thursdays and 10am to 11pm on Fridays to Sundays.

Carrefour Malaysia marketing and communications director Sivakumar Haridas said the move liberalised the retail industry to a certain extent as it offered working adults flexible time to shop and a place to spend quality time with their family after working hours.

“The longer opening hours will also create more opportunities for employment.

“In line with this, we are pleased to announce our price cut campaign within a week, to further provide consumers value for money for essential everyday items,” he said.

Carrefour hypermarkets currently open from 9am to 10pm on weekdays and 8am to 11pm on weekends.

There are currently 15 Carrefour hypermarkets nationwide.

By The Star

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