Malaysian Retailers into Multi-Channel Partnerships

Jan 2022

Malaysian retailers continue to strike multi-channel partnership deals with various parties to take advantage of the opportunities brought by pandemic-posed challenges for the traditional channel. This includes Lotuss Stores Malaysia Sdn Bhd (Lotuss Malaysia), formerly known as Tesco Malaysia, which has collaborated with GHL Systems Berhad (GHL) to boost the latter’s Order & Collect personal shopper service, as well as supermarket chain Jaya Grocer’s deal with Grab Holdings amid increasing demand for online grocery deliveries in the region.

Lotuss Malaysia introduced the Order & Collect service in 2020 to cater to its customers looking for hassle-free shopping by ordering items online and collecting the orders at the preferred Lotuss Malaysia’s stores near them. The service has halved customers’ time spent in stores for shopping and helps them maintain their physical distancing, as well as facilitating the shopping needs of vulnerable shoppers such as senior citizens, people with disabilities, chronic patients, and such, by providing enhanced convenience and undeterred accessibility for all levels of the community. By collaborating with GHL, Lotuss Malaysia is now able to expand payment options to its customers using the Order & Collect service to include a secure online payment option; cards, e-wallets and online banking linked directly to WhatsApp chat. GHL is a leading payment service provider and one of the top merchant acquirers in the ASEAN region. It powers the online payment option through its online payment product — e-GHL, which connects over 100 renowned Southeast Asian payment channels with a single integration.

On the other hand, Singapore-based Grab Holdings has agreed to buy all of Jaya Grocer’s ordinary shares and 75% of the chain’s preference shares for an undisclosed amount, in a deal thought to be worth as much as MYR 1.8 billion (USD 425 million). The deal is expected to complete in the first quarter of 2022 after going through local regulation requirement exercises. Family-owned Jaya Grocer is one of the leading high-end grocery supermarket chains in Malaysia. Through the deal, Jaya Grocer will help Grab’s grocery delivery service, GrabMart, to strengthen its footprint across Malaysia, where the grocery chain operates 40 stores primarily in the Klang Valley area. Grab, which has now become a regional superapp company, started its grocery deliveries in 2019 before the Covid-19 pandemic hit the globe. It was a blessing in disguise when the pandemic hit its ride-hailing business across ASEAN hard a year later, as the group’s gross merchandise value (GMP) increased 32% to a record USD 4 billion in 3Q 2021, sustained by a 63% jump in GMV for food deliveries to USD 2.3 billion.

(Sources: The Edge Markets; Forbes)

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