KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 19): Malayan United Industries Bhd (MUI Group) has signed a partnership agreement with local data technology provider Fusionex Group to launch a Metrojaya online marketplace that is set to go live in early December.
Metrojaya is run by MUI Group’s retail arm MJ Department Stores Sdn Bhd, and the signing ceremony took place on Thursday afternoon at Corus Hotel Kuala Lumpur.
“Over the course of 47 remarkable years, Metrojaya has established itself as a pioneering departmental store winning the hearts of countless generations of shoppers. Today, we find ourselves at a crucial juncture, one where we must reinvent our brand to remain relevant in the phase of ever-evolving consumer dynamics,” said MUI Group chairman and chief executive officer Andrew Khoo during his speech at the event.
“To ensure our successful foray into the digital market and its sustained growth, we are proud to announce our collaboration with Fusionex, a multi-award winning technology provider and a market leader in big data within our country. This partnership represents a fusion of our extensive retail experience with Fusionex’ technical prowess, and together we aim to revolutionise the online retail landscape by enhancing the overall shopping experience for our customers,” he added.
According to Khoo, the marketplace website will operate as an omnichannel platform similar to Shopee, Lazada and Zalora. “In the initial phase, our marketplace will house Metrojaya’s numerous concessionaires…who have been unwavering in their support throughout the years. This partnership ensures that we continue this cherished relationship on a new virtual journey. As we move forward, our platform will expand to offer an extensive range of goods and services, spanning from hospitality to medical and even education. The future is limitless.”
In addition to the online marketplace, Khoo also announced the upcoming launch of the retailer’s mobile app, which will reward customers through redemptions, and enhance customer engagement with promotions and activities.
Meanwhile, Fusionex CEO Datuk Seri Ivan Teh said in his speech that the software company’s technology will be customer-centric and insights-driven to understand consumers’ behavioural and buying patterns.
“We want to work with MUI Group to put in place a responsible, sustainable, ESG-compliant and value-added platform for the industry and consumers. This would centre around using recycled products and packaging…and will be very focused on [protecting the environment] and the sustainability of the packaging and delivery,” Teh noted.
What sets the new Metrojaya marketplace apart, Teh said, is the assurance of quality. “The Metrojaya marketplace has similarities with the likes of Lazada and Shopee, but it is also very different, because it ensures that the merchants we have on board are of high quality. The quality assurance, to ensure that there are no counterfeit products, no fake or imitation goods, is very important to ensure our consumers’ trust and confidence.”
The platform will also focus on supporting local businesses, he added. “[The platform] will be very centred around supporting Malaysian merchants, partners and suppliers, to ensure…that the whole ecosystem is complete. [We will also work with] delivery and payment providers to ensure that everything will be done in a cost-effective and seamless way.”
Khoo added: “This marketplace is another way for young entrepreneurs in Malaysia to come in at a much lower cost and risk. It’s a way for us to support young entrepreneurs, and to help these people build a business. We look forward to doing that and providing a level of impact to society in a positive way.”
This digital transformation will also see Metrojaya shedding some of its physical footprint. “It’s about getting the right tenant mix and rightsizing. While we rationalise this, we are going to lose some space as we rightsize. At the same time, we are securing new spaces [such as in IOI City Mall] and a few more in the pipeline. It may not be large-store formats; it could be our individual house brands. Overall, we don’t look at just the physical store or footprint size, but rather holistically,” Khoo said.