Saturday, September 30, 2006

Pekan Rabu Complex: A disasterous Investment

Nobody shopping? Shops all closed? Why? $7 million investment by the state govt down the drain?

Where is this complex?

Oh, Pekan Rabu 3-storey shopping complex, Tampoi, Johor.

The complex owner even give:

Everything for free; yet no takers at complex

Monthly rental of RM600 has been waived; water and electricity charges are also waived, but the traders are missing. Despite the incentives, 90% of the shops remain closed.

Shops in Pekan Rabu complex remained closed after one year of launching. It was built and owned by Johor govt.

The complex site previously was a wholesale market of which you will see a big crowd everyday, shopping for their necessities and a popular place for breakfast. The govt decided to built a complex as a money-spinning business opportunity for bumiputra entrepreneurs.

Designed to mirror the Johor Malay architecture, the one-stop centre was also supposed to sell a diverse range of goods including salted fish, clothes, handicraft, cakes as well as famous Johor dishes.

A year after the RM7mil three-storey complex was launched amidst much fanfare, the building is practically deserted with only a handful traders opening their doors for business daily. The basement parking lots as well as the parking bays outside the complex are empty.

Many of the shops have fancy names and signboards, but instead of bustling crowds, the most distinctive features of the complex are the closed metal shutters and eerie silence.

One of the traders, Abrizah Abu Bakar, 46, said she used to drive a BMW and could easily rake in about RM21,000 a month when she had two cosmetics shops in UDA and Perling. “Now I make RM2,000 on a good month. There are months when I’ve made nothing at all. “I have sold my car, my houses and my land. I now drive a Kancil and don’t even have the option of moving out as I can’t afford to pay rental,” she said of the situation in Pekan Rabu. She sold her two shops to move here.

State Entrepreneur and Co-operative Development committee chairman Samat Aripin revealed that there were plans to integrate an Immigration department into the Pekan Rabu complex to help draw customers. “That way, the traders will be assured of customers, as some 1,500 to 2,000 people go to the department daily,” he said.

Why is it that nobody wants to shop there? Why is it that most govt-funded commercial investments for "money-spinning business opportunity for bumiputra entrepreneurs" fails? Is there something missing? Or, was it poor planning? Asked the Johoreans, particularly those in Tampoi, Perling and Singaporeans.

The answer: Market feasibility study was fictitious and improperly done. Who was the marketing surveyor/consultant? They didn't built something that people need and want; they built things that they think what people may want. Look at other shops around Tun Aminah, Perling, and even in Tampoi (UDA complex at Tampoi)


bayi said...

I'll bet someone made a neat pile from this project.

mmudahlupa said...

probably, the owner didn't do an economic feasibility study of the project.This normally happen to most gov't projects b'cos the decisions to proceed with the projects are based upon the amount of money that is allocated in a fiscal year, rather than economic feasibility study.

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