Metrojaya to open in Kuching by the last quarter of 2012
by Ronnie Teo, email@example.com. Posted on August 1, 2012, Wednesday
KUCHING: As one of the oldest retail chains in the country, Metrojaya Bhd (Metrojaya) will be opening its outlet here in CityOne Mall by the last quarter of 2012.
According to Metrojaya’s deputy general manager of Property and Projects/Reject Shop, Chan Lai Hing in an exclusive interview with The Borneo Post, the group was well on track to open its outlet here in time for the festive season this year end.
Chan said the time was right for Metrojaya’s foray into Kuching, having had success with its outlet in Suria Sabah since its inception since late 2009.
“Once we had our outlet in Kota Kinabalu, coming to Kuching just made sense,” she said during the interview.
“We started to fall in love with this site (CityOne Mall) with its high visibility, slated to be the biggest shopping mall in Kuching upon completion with more than one million square feet (sq ft) of net lettable area (NLA) and its iconic design,” she added.
“In West Malaysia, we are very well established and in Kuching, we hope to bring a new shopping experience for Kuchingites. It will be refreshing, modern with its own twists in concepts.”
Metrojaya, which places emphasis on lifestyle, will occupy cover more than 130,000 sq ft in CityOne, spanning over three levels from the ground floor up to the second floor.
The retailer will offer several segments such as household items as well as cosmetics, apparel and accessories for men, women and children.
“Metrojaya is very careful and selective of its positioning in the market.
“We want to stay true to ourselves and focus on offering good quality merchandise to customers,” Chan affirmed.
Thus, the group currently has seven stores in West Malaysia, with one of it being a MJ Concept Store.
Meanwhile, the progress of the Metrojaya outlet at CityOne Mall was very timely and right on target, Chan said, with about 80 per cent of the store completed.
“We believe the market is very matured here,” she added. “The locals are very mobile – they are willing to travel not just domestically but across the sea to shop. We believe that based on this consumption, the retail trend here is very strong.
“It is further attested by the fact that more and more local and international brands are starting to come to Kuching. The locals are opening up to more concepts and brands,” she believed.
Speaking on competition, Chan believed that Metrojaya set itself apart from its competitors with its niche market of brands that is exclusively supplied by the retailer.
These brands, sourced from countries as far as the UK, will be its main appeal not only for fashionable offerings but also for home and living products.
“On our side, Metrojaya offers exclusive brands only available us that local consumers may not have seen yet. These include international brands such as Laura Ashley, Somerset Bay, Cape Cod, Frego, East India Company, Emmanuel, Zona and Passages to name a few,” Chan gave as example.
“As for home and living, we have strong exclusive lifestyle brands such as Living Quarters and Simply Natural. In fact, we are coming up with a new concept for the retail designs for these two brands for our outlet here in Kuching.
“By focusing on family orientation, we hope to be remembered for home and apparel offerings.”
This led to Chan’s expectations of garnering about one third of the market share for department stores in its first three years of operations.
Speaking on its design, Chan revealed that each Metrojaya outlet has its own individual taste, whereby the ambiance in each mall is complementary to other tenants but still different from other retail store concepts.
“The emotional portion of shopping is blended with the design of our malls. We try to make it a memorable experience for out shoppers everywhere,” she noted.