MR D.I.Y. Trading aims to keep opening 100 stores per year
Boosted by healthy revenue over the past two years despite the pandemic, MR D.I.Y. Trading (Thailand) Co, the operator of the MR D.I.Y. home improvement brand, looks set to continue opening at least 100 new stores a year.
Andy Chin, newly appointed chief executive of the company, said that the company aims to open 120 MR D.I.Y. stores this year, bringing the total number of MR D.I.Y. stores in Thailand to more than 500 by year-end.
The new stores are expected to create more than 2,000 jobs in Thailand this year.
In addition, according to Mr Chin, the company also plans to open a new distribution centre in northern Thailand this year, but asked that the investment figures remain confidential.
The company currently operates three warehouses in Samut Prakan, two distribution centres in Surat Thani and Nakhon Ratchasima. It is now seeking to establish one distribution centre in the North.
"Our main focus is now the overall Thai market nationwide," he said. "MR D.I.Y. is growing rapidly in the country due to the continuous expansion of middle-income earners and young adults. We aim to open 100 new stores a year and it is possible that the number of MR D.I.Y. stores in Thailand will exceed 1,000 stores in the next four years,'' he said.
At the end of 2021 there were 400 MR. D.I.Y. stores, covering 70 provinces.
The stores are both stand-alone and located inside retail complexes, with an average retail space of 760-1,000 square metres.
"Even during the Covid-19 pandemic, we've never stopped investment in the Thai market, because Thailand is very promising and it is the second-largest market of MR D.I.Y. after Malaysia,'' Mr Chin said. He added that despite the emergence of the Omicron variant, the company officially opened its 400th store in Thailand on the fifth floor of the MBK shopping centre on Jan 7.
MR D.I.Y. started life in Malaysia in 2005 and went on to become the largest home improvement company in the country. Now it has a total of 1,800 stores across nine countries including Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Cambodia, India and Turkey. It is planning to open its first store in Spain next week.
MR D.I.Y. opened its first Thai store at Seacon Bangkae in 2016. At present, it is the largest home improvement retailer in Thailand.
"Covid-19 has certainly slowed overall retail business not only in Thailand but also the world," said Mr Chin. "But our business has actually grown because consumers still need home improvement products. This is because our products can be delivered conveniently, fit with the consumer lifestyle, have low prices and a wide range of products of over 18,000 items."
According to Mr Chin, MR D.I.Y. also has a strong brand and a resilient business model. It uses data analytics to ensure customers get what they want, when they need it, and in convenient locations. In terms of contactless and digital payments, the company has e-wallet services available.
"Nonetheless, the key challenge of doing business this year is to keep prices low while costs of goods have been steadily increasing globally, particularly from higher freight costs and volatile foreign exchange," Mr Chin said. "We will continue to use data, our direct relationships with manufacturers, and efficient logistics to keep prices low. Moreover, we'll continue to find new ways to satisfy customers including exploring new formats, such as MR D.I.Y. Express."
- MR D.I.Y.