YESTERDAY, Hua Ho Department store opened their newest branch also aimed at targeting Malaysian customers from Malaysia's Kuala Lurah border.
The 10th branch, located at Mulaut, was "strategically located" in that area for two reasons, according to Jay Choo Jun Lee, one of the Hua Ho Department Store managers cum personal assistant to Pehin Kapitan China Kornia Diraja Dato Paduka Lau Ah Kok, founder of the chain of department stores.
He explained that the new branch is located along the road to Kuala Lurah, and while the company does not have figures of how many Malaysian customers they currently have Choo is adamant that the location could potentially increase the number of Malaysian customers that already frequent the department store.
He added that the department store is "maintaining its current sales" however no figure could be disclosed. Asked about whether there are plans to expand further and add additional branches, Choo said that there is no word on that potential development at this point in time.
Choo said that the department store's performance varies depending on the months, but normally does extremely well during festive seasons like Chinese New Year and Hari Raya.
At present, Pehin Dato Lau's very own well established Hua Ho Department Store has become one of the biggest chained department stores in Negara Brunei Darussalam. In addition to that, Pehin Dato Lau has set up several Hua Ho Agricultural Farms to supply vegetables, fruits, chickens and eggs. The department store also carries their own brand of electronics called Bonus, which Choo says is one of the store's bestsellers due to its affordability.
The supermarket also has their own rewards points programme called 'H2', where customers who shop at the department store are able to collect points and redeem them for a variety of products sold in the store.
The latest branch has two floors, the top floor consisting of 60,000 sq feet and the ground floor where the supermarket is, consisting of 40,000 sq ft. The latest branch also adds close to 80 employees to their workforce.
According to the publication, Business Icons, Pehin Dato Lau first set up shop in a straw hut in a rubber plantation and sold his agricultural produce on a bicycle, selling them to residents in the area. Hua Ho was first established by Pehin Dato Lau in 1947, and opened his first supermarket in 1982. Business Icons stated that "one of the major aspects of consumer culture is branding". "Consumers are easily attracted to brands they recognise, thus, a department store's success is dependant on the range of brands it presents to its consumers," it said.
The book also stated that Hua Ho had become one of the Sultanate's strongest brands and that it had developed to become more than just a supermarket brand. The opening of the branch took place yesterday where prominent members of the Chinese community including members of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce and family attended. The Brunei Times
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
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