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Pros vs Cons: Hypermarkets and Your Neighbourhood ‘Kedai Runcit’

For some people, shopping for groceries can be a tortuous experience. They find it more challenging to stretch the Ringgit and having to fork out much more for a regular amount of groceries. If this situation resonates with you, know that you are not alone!

You will probably see more people spending time at the aisles comparing prices these days, as opposed to a time not too long ago when we could just grab and go easily. Back in the days, most people do their weekly shopping either at a Hypermarket or their Local Sundry Shop (Kedai Runcit).

Today, everything and anything can be bought online. And that could be a different topic altogether. So, in this article let’s just discuss what do Sundry Shops and Hypermarket stores offer.

Sundry Shops vs Hypermarket

Photo from left to right Sundry Shop (Kojadi) and Hypermarket (Lowyat)

Sundry Shops (Kedai Runcit) are small establishments usually owned and run by families. They offer the basic necessities like dried goods, rice, bread, canned food and others. Sundry Shops are often located in shoplots within housing estates and can easily be reached within walking distance for many homes.

Prior to the mid-1990s, hypermarkets were unheard of but they have popped up all over the country, especially in suburbs and places with a high density of residents. Hypermarkets are characterised by the many modern amenities that they offer shoppers such as shopping carts, scanning check-out counters and ample parking space.

Now we shall compare the two options compare in terms of price, variety, services and reward programmes.

1. Price

Photo from left to right (KitePunye) & Hypermarket (Astro Awani

Sundry Shops:  The goods in Sundry Shops may not be very price competitive since they do not expect to sell much in terms of quantity. Sundry Shops usually only cater to those staying within a short distance and therefore they do not expect as many customers as compared to larger Hypermarkets. Hence, Sundry Shops usually just adjust their prices accordingly.

Hypermarkets: The prices at Hypermarkets are usually quite competitive and can be slightly cheaper compared to those offered at smaller Sundry Shops as Hypermarkets are expected to sell higher number quantities of products. There will also be ongoing discounts and promotions on selected items every month to attract shoppers.

2. Variety

Photo from left to right Sundry Shop (Pusat Internet) & Hypermarket (Pinterest)

Sundry Shops: Sundry Shops usually sell only the most basic household and kitchen necessities and you will not get as much options to select from as compared to Hypermarkets. You will also find it difficult to find more obscure food ingredients, especially western food ingredients. Some Sundry Shops offer fresh fruits and vegetables, but not more than 10 to 20 types at one time (at most 30) and mostly are sold in a very limited amount.

Hypermarkets: It is no doubt that Hypermarkets offer a wider variety of products, including dried goods and fresh fruits, vegetables and meats. You do not have to worry about finding ingredients for both Eastern and Western cooking, as well as rare condiments too.

3. Services

Photo from left to right SundryShop (Pusat Internet Felda Bukit Puchong) & Hypermarket (Malaymail)

Sundry Shops: Sundry Shops are very personal and the owner will probably know you by name if you are a regular. You will find that you can be friends with the local Sundry Shop operator in no time and that leads to other perks like getting the occasional discount or being able to buy on credit.

Hypermarkets: Although Hypermarkets employ many staff members who will be on hand to direct you and help you to get what you need, the relationship is distant and formal. There will not be that familiarity that you will get at Sundry Shops and there is no reason for the staff to treat you any different from other shoppers.

4. Reward Programmes and Credit

Photo from left to right Sundry Shop (SAYS) & Hypermarket (Beetify)

Sundry Shops: Sundry Shops usually do not offer any reward programmes or point programmes and many of them do not even accept credit or debit cards. However, it is an intimate business relationship; so some form of credit is allowed and often recorded in the Sundry Shop owner’s 555 notebook.

Hypermarkets: You will often find that Hypermarkets offer membership cards which you can swipe for points and use these points later to redeem discounts or gifts. Members will also enjoy various other perks. You can use debit and credit cards more easily at Hypermarkets, by just swiping them and using your pin number.

Both Sundry Shops and Hypermarkets have their pros and cons and both are important in the lives of Malaysians. Sundry Shops are convenient options that are usually located within walking distance from your home and offer relational services whereas Hypermarkets offer competitive variety and prices.

This article is prepared by Direct Lending, an online personal lending platform with the mission to provide simple, safe and affordable financing to all hardworking adults. We help borrowers to find, apply and receive financing that most suit them. Our service is 100% free.

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