Thursday, 23 December 2010

Padini plans more stores

By June Ramlee
Published: 2010/12/23

However, Padini is concerned about the labour shortage and the inability of getting Malaysians to work in the retail sector

PADINI Holdings Bhd (7052)plans to open more Brands Outlet stores, which sells cheaper value brands, in 2011 but it is worried about a local labour shortage for the retail industry.

"What concerns me is the labour shortage and the inability of getting locals to work in the retail sector and make it a career that not many people are willing to invest their lives in," executive chairman Chan Kwai Heng said.

This is why Padini's expansion plans in Sabah and Sarawak has suffered a setback as there were not many capable people who could do the job.

"Between Sabah and Sarawak we have three stores ... we want to expand more here but we are looking for the right person who can handle the retailing side of the business," he added.

The company now has 12 Brands Outlet stores nationwide.

"We are going to expand the Brands Outlet store to many states in Malaysia but we are not sure of the number yet," he added.

Padini's revenue grew 9.5 per cent to RM520.9 million in 2010 over RM475.5 million in 2009.

Its most profitable business was women's footwear Vincci which garnered a revenue of RM173.2 million compared with RM160.3 million the previous year.

Chan said the group doesn't plan to expand its brand presence overseas as it still has a lot of room to grow within the country.

"The Economic Transformation Plan (ETP) report says that in 2009 the apparel and footwear industry in Malaysia was worth RM13 billion. Now our revenue is only at RM520.9 million, so we still have a lot of room to grow here," he said.

He is also not worried about the rise in cotton prices due to bad weather as it could lock in prices earlier through the futures market.

Padini expects a single-digit growth for the fashion industry next year as there are not many big events to help push sales.

"There is no Visit Malaysia Year next year, but I am very interested in the ETP ... if it works, then it will be good for the industry," he added.

Read more: Padini plans more stores

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