KUALA LUMPUR: Berjaya Retail Bhd, which operates the 7-Eleven and Singer brands in Malaysia, plans to open the country’s first RadioShack store within six months and in other Asean countries within the next two years.
“Malaysia will be the regional hub for the Southeast Asian RadioShack brand development,” said Yau Su Peng, chief operating officer of Berjaya (Radio Shack) RS Sdn Bhd, the franchisee of RadioShack in Malaysia, after the signing of a master franchise agreement with US-based RadioShack yesterday.
RadioShack is a leading retailer of electronics products and services in the US with a retail network of approximately 4,700 company-operated stores in the US and Mexico, and over 1,100 dealer and franchise locations worldwide.
“With this agreement, Berjaya has the right to develop the [Radio Shack] brand in 10 [Asean] countries. That right to develop the brand involves the right to open retail stores, distribute products, sell products on the Internet and to sub-franchise,” she said.
“That means Berjaya can sign on sub-franchisees to open Radio Shack stores anywhere in the 10 countries,” she added.
Within the next 10 years, she said Berjaya Retail expects to open at least 1,000 franchise locations across Asean, in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Brunei, Philippines, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar.
|From left: Amschler exchanging documents with Yau as International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed (centre), Tan (back right) and US Ambassador to Malaysia Paul W Jones look on, at the signing ceremony between Berjaya Retail and Radio Shack Corp.
Yau said Berjaya Retail has not decided on which country it will venture into next but plans to open its first store outside Malaysia within the next two years. “We are exploring a few options but we are still in the exploratory phase,” she said.
For Malaysia, Yau said Berjaya Retail will open the first RadioShack store in Mid Valley Megamall followed by a few more in other locations by year-end.
During her speech at the signing ceremony, Yau said RadioShack’s vice-president of franchise Martin Amschler was in Malaysia six months ago as part of a visit to explore opportunities in Southeast Asia.
“Datuk Robin Tan (CEO and chairman of Berjaya Corp Bhd) was contacted by the team at the US Commercial Services who introduced us to Marty (Amschler) and within 24 hours of that first meeting, we had convinced Marty that there wasn’t going to be much of a need to visit the other countries,” she said.
“Personally, I came away thinking that we could learn a lot from Radio Shack Corp about how to run a sustainable retail business. After all, they have been in the retail sector for almost a century,” she added.
This article appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, March 23, 2012.