Malaysia: Tesco to increase local SME products to be sold in China

KUALA LUMPUR: UK retailer Tesco wants to nearly double the number of products made by Malaysian small businesses that can be sold at its stores in China.

“We hope to get at least 100 Malaysian made products produced by small and medium enterprises into our stores in China by year end,” Tesco Malaysia chief executive officer Tjeerd Jegen said after launching a seminar yesterday.

So far, there are 59 products ranging from various food and non-food products supplied to the Chinese based Tesco stores. They include instant coffee or teh tarik, jelly, puddings, cooking sauces and spices.

Jegen said Malaysian products in China are a hit and sales have been brisk between RM8,000 to RM22,000 a week since it was first introduced last month.

He also encouraged more Halal food suppliers who wanted to penetrate the Chinese market to approach Tesco as the Muslim population in China is estimated to be about 80 million people.

“Besides China, three years ago we did introduce Malaysian products in the United Kingdom. We used to be the ones looking for the suppliers (then) but thankfully now they are coming to us.

“As a leading multinational retailer, we are in a unique position to offer Malaysian SMEs with strategic insights and invaluable tips on effectively tapping opportunities in China’s immense retail market,” he added.

He said almost 90 per cent of the products carried by Tesco were local products. However, the company would bring in another sub-brand of their product concentrating on a higher range of produce known as “Tesco finest”.

“We will bring them first into five of our Klang Valley stores next month and it will be mainly products from the United Kingdom for example the good tea and chocolate range,” he added.

As for its Malaysian business, the company is opening three more new hypermarkets this year at Bukit Beruntung, Selangor, Alor Star, Kedah and in Senawang in Negeri Sembilan.

At present Tesco has 41 hypermarkets and the investment per store is about RM80 million to RM100 million per year.