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Saturday, August 15, 2009

Sui Wah to open sixth outlet in October

GEORGE TOWN: Penang-based departmental cum supermarket operator Sui Wah Corporation Bhd is opening its sixth outlet this October at the Times Square shopping mall in George Town.

Group executive director Cynthia Hwang told StarBizWeek that the new outlet, known as Sunshine City, would be the anchor tenant for the shopping mall, occupying some 120,000 sq ft on the third and fourth floors.

“What differentiates this outlet is the availability of brand names that are not normally found in other stores, the personalised shopping experience that will be provided, and a local designer brand corner,” she said. “We will have promoters to provide consultancy on fashion to our customers.”

Hwang said the group sent a surveying team to various countries in Asia to obtain interior design ideas for the new outlet.

“Sunshine City is the product of many mid- and high-end departmental and supermarket stores that we visited in Asia.

“We want to ensure that Sunshine City has the appeal to attract shoppers from all income segments.

“For example, the interior is designed with a lot of glass panels to generate a classy and feel-good shopping experience,” she said.

Hwang said there would also be over 50 brand names of apparel.

“We are confident that Sunshine City will be able to compete during these economically challenging times as our apparels are trendy and affordably priced,” she said. “The apparels and the foodstuffs in the supermarket are targeted at the a broad range of customers from diverse income backgrounds.”

On the group’s departmental and supermarket business, Hwang said business at its five other outlets on the island experienced a drop of about 10% for the first five months of 2009, compared to the corresponding period a year ago.

“But starting June, business is picking up on a month to month basis. We expect August to be 5% to 10% better than July,” she added.

Besides Sunshine City, the Sui Wah group owns and manages Sunshine Square, Sunshine Farlim, Sunshine Wholesale, Sunshine Jelutong and Sui Wah Air Itam on the island.

After Sunshine City, the group plans to build a two million sq ft commercial building on the island in the near future.

“The plan is for the building to accommodate a budget hotel, serviced apartments, retail outlets and offices,” Hwang said.

For the 2009 fiscal year ended May 31, the group posted RM12.8mil in pre-tax profit on the back of RM368mil in revenue.

In fiscal year 2008, its pretax profit was RM15mil while revenue was RM373mil.

By The Star (by David Tan)

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