'TUKAR', A MOVE TO PROVIDE NEW IMAGE FOR RETAILERS

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In a move to have retailers contribute to the nation''s economic growth, the

government launched the ''Retail Shop Transformation Programme (TUKAR)'' in 2011.

This is the first of a two part series.

KUALA LUMPUR, July 27 (Bernama) -- On their own, retailers may not have the

necessary skills to perform a ''facelift'' on their shops in order to assure their

premises projects a better image.

Hence, the ''Program Transformasi Kedai Runcit'' (Retail Shop Transformation

Programme) or TUKAR was implemented by the government in 2011 for retailers to

boost their shops'' images.

TUKAR, which is under the auspices of the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and

Consumerism Ministry (KPDNKK), is seen as the right ''mechanism'' for this

transformation.

PARTICIPATION

According to KPDNKK''s statistics, 519 retailers participated in the

programme last year, while another 359 shops have joined in so far this year,

bringing the total number of participating shops to 878.

Mohd Fariszan Ahmad, the KPDNKK''s Head of Delivery Management, said the

ministry is eyeing 500 retail shops per year to join the programme.

He said, on average, each of the shops participating in the TUKAR programme

recorded a 50 per cent increase in their store’s turnover.

"The government is satisfied with the response given to the project, but

wants more participation from other retailers, particularly the Chinese and

Indians", he told Bernama here.

Out of the 519 retailers who participated in the programme in 2011, 72 per

cent were Malays, followed by Indians at 13 per cent, Chinese at seven per cent,

and the rest were the Bumiputera of Sabah and Sarawak.

He further said the ministry is implementing various programmes, including

promotions through the mass media to attract the interest of retailers in

joining TUKAR.

ECONOMY

Mohd Fariszan said Tukar is linked to the Economic Transformation Programme

(ETP), which is among the government''s efforts to turn Malaysia into a high

income nation by 2020.

The ETP aims to achieve a Gross National Income (GNI) of more than RM48,000

by 2020 from RM23,700 in 2009, with 3.3 million job opportunities available. It

focuses on 12 National Key Economic Areas (NKEA), including wholesale and retail

sales.

Under the NKEA for wholesale and retail sales, there are 13 Entry Point

Projects (EPP), including TUKAR, where the EPPs are expected to contribute

RM83.4 billion to the GNI by 2020.

"We also expect the 13 EPPS to create more than 370,000 jobs," he said.

CONTRIBUTION

The TUKAR programme is aimed at contributing RM5.56 billion to the GNI,

apart from creating 51,540 jobs by 2020, and in order to ensure the success of

this programme the KPDNKK has initiated a strategy with four objectives.

The strategies include modernising the existing retail shops (full

renovation), upgrading the premises (changes made to the layout but without

physical renovations), encouraging cooperatives to join the retail industry and

creating local distribution centres.

Meanwhile, the programme also draws upon the participation of consultants

such as the hypermarket chains Mydin, Giant, AEON, Carrefour and Tesco.

Mohd Fariszan said these consultants do not charge fees when providing

advice, which includes suggestions related to the shop renovations and cost

estimations.

The loans to fund the renovations are provided by Bank Kerjasama Rakyat

Malaysia (Bank Rakyat).

CONDITIONS

All retailers do not hold free tickets to join the programme, as businesses

need to meet terms and conditions since the project involves loans.

Each applicant is eligible to apply for a maximum loan payable in 15 years

with three per cent interest per annum for service fees.

The applicant must have a retail shop being at least one year old and

measuring not more than 762 square metres (2,500 square feet).

TRAINING

Participants in TUKAR will be given training in terms of business and

finance management held with the collaboration of the Malaysian Cooperatives

College (MKM).

They will be taught how to use the Point of Sale (POS) equipment, including

the electronic-scanner cash register where the retailer can record sales

transaction by only scanning barcodes of his merchandise.

This system also enables retailers to maintain an inventory of the goods

available.

However, there are some retailers who, after participating in the programme,

did not accept the suggestions of the experts, allowing their shops to return to

their former ''look''.

Mohd Fariszan said: "It concerns the retailers'' attitude, which causes the

impact that is hoped for by the government".

-- BERNAMA

MMA ZUL INE CR

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