It is not easy for overseas retail chains to enter the Thai market and grow rapidly. MR.D.I.Y., a major home furnishing and repair retailer from Malaysia, is one of them. And how fast did they grow expanding to almost 100 stores a year, or more than a hundred branches?
MR.D.I.Y. first entered the market in Thailand in 2016 with its first store at Seacon Bangkae before rapidly expanding to now nearly 640 stores.
What is the secret to MR.D.I.Y.'s success with the creation of a home furnishing and repair retail brand in Thailand, and the goal of Year 7 of MR.D.I.Y. to expand to 170 branches this year?
Mr Javed, Executive Vice President of Marketing Mr. D.I.Y. Thailand, was interviewed by Capital Read.
Starting from Pain Point Although the logo of MR.D.I.Y. is a hammer, which honestly communicates that it is a refurbishment and repair store, MR.D.I.Y. actually sells more than that. There are more than 15,000 items to choose from in this yellow store.
Before there were so many products and branches, and why did they have a hammer logo? Let's go back to the beginning of Day 1 of MR.D.I.Y., where Tan Yu Yeh, the founder, got the idea from a pain point to buy home furnishings for Malaysians who had to shop at many stores. Many places to buy all the items. It takes a long time to get repaired, and it's probably better to have a furnishing shop in Malaysia. Repair a home that includes all the things
In 2005, Mr DIY opened a small shop. First store in Kuala Lumpur. At first, he only sold hardware products. When the response came out well, he gradually expanding the product line in the store to have more along with rapidly expanding business until now, it is the largest home accessories store in Malaysia.
Our home country is the first country that MR.D.I.Y. chose to expand its branches outside the country. Many people would have questioned what was the reason. "Of the 10 countries that MR.D.I.Y. has marketed, Thailand is the second highest earning country after Malaysia, which is the home country. Looking deeper into the first possibilities is the fact that the population of Thailand is more than and that it is a potential market. In principle, opportunities and branch expansion are greater. "The character of Malaysians and Thais is quite the same, only during the seasonality period, when campaigning or displaying in front of stores, the demand for products will be different. For example, during March, April, Thailand was the summer season. In front of the store, you will find summer products to choose from. Malaysia is in Ramadan. The demand for the product is already starting to differ. After six o'clock, Malaysians come to sit and cook. Let's eat. The products at the Malaysian branch will focus mostly on cooking ware."
Good value for money and shop every day 'Always Low prices' is Motto. The tagline that MR.D.I.Y. uses, we think this term is not exaggerated. The price of the products at the store is quite affordable, in such a way that even if you have a list of items that you want to buy, when you arrive at the counter prepared to pay, the basket is already full.
MR.D.I.Y. has more than 15,000 products to choose from, divided into 10 categories, ranging from hardware, household, electrical equipment and appliances, car accessories, home furnishings, stationery and sports equipment, toys, gifts, computers and mobile devices, to jewelry and cosmetics.
"If you walk into the store, go to the store. The first thing you'll find is festive merchandise. Special price items are on the front. Next to that, when you walk into the store. Every Shelf head will find a branded product. MR.D.I.Y., which is a house brand, is placed as a choice before other brands. We put price and quality first." The store's top sellers are household goods, hardware, electrical and electrical appliances, stationery and sports equipment. Because the products are cheap and quality, prices start in units to thousands of baht. This variety of prices and items is the catalyst for making decisions easier.
“MR.D.I.Y. opened for 7 years, consumer behavior and demand change according to social trends and economic conditions. For example, now everyone is looking for the value of money, 500 baht. But come to the store, we got a lot of products."
Challenging and also requires branding communication. From a powerful perspective, the challenges in the retail business of selling miscellaneous goods from external factors are almost nonexistent. He told us during the conversation that the challenge for him and MR.D.I.Y. WAS to expand to 170 stores this year.
And the other thing is branding communication, because in fact, many people may be addicted to the image that the store from abroad must be expensive. And many people may not know and have never tried to enter the shop once.
"The perception of customers is certain, some may not know or some may already know that the yellow shop has a hammer logo. What we do must be communicated. We did a communication campaign to get Tak Boribun to be a presenter. The campaign is conducted through 5 different scenarios to simulate everyday events to convey diversity and to remind old customers who already know that MR.D.I.Y. has a wide variety of products but may not yet know that they have this product. If you compare the category of MR.D.I.Y. products to Iceberg, people who don't know us may only see us at the top, thinking that we only sell hardware, but we actually have a lot of products."
Go online Year 7 of MR.D.I.Y. in Thailand is seeing an expansion from offline to online. MR.D.I.Y.'s omnichannel business is expanding its e-Commerce sales channel Shopee and launching its own website called www.mrdiy.co.th. This is after Malaysia did it 2 years ago. "We are seeing growth opportunities in online channels, especially in the retail market of home furnishing and repair products that are increasingly demanding. In this online offensive tactic, MR.D.I.Y. does not sell more than 15,000 products online, but selects more than 600 bestsellers to sell online."
Three Key Success Formula of MR.D.I.Y. In the first year of MR.D.I.Y.'s branch in Thailand, the challenge was to set up the business, while the next year was to accelerate the expansion of the branch for growth and to run a self-managed business without selling franchises. In 2019, MR.D.I.Y. had 205 branches. In 2020, MR.D.I.Y. had 278 branches. In 2021, MR.D.I.Y. had 399 branches. In 2022, MR.D.I.Y. had 557 branches. As of 2023, MR.D.I.Y. has nearly 640 branches.
“You can see that we are expanding branches quite quickly, because we see potential. We are a product store that can be used by everyone in the family. With a business model, to make the business grow is focusing on branch distribution throughout all provinces and urban areas allows MR.D.I.Y. branches to reach as many customers as possible.
There are 3 main secrets to MR.D.I.Y.'s success: 1. Product
A variety of products with tens of thousands of items, ranging from young children to the elderly, that customers can shop every day.
Price is something that MR. D.I.Y. has an advantage over others, according to the mechanism of economies of scale, that the more products you order, the cheaper you get, which is why MR.D.I.Y. products are cheaper than other brands.
"MR. D.I.Y. makes products for 10 countries with over 2,700 stores. When we sell it, we can sell products at low prices, including sourcing logistics, MR.D.I.Y. is all done by ourselves, so we can control costs well, always low prices, and also have house brands that are very cheap."
Convenience here is a matter of location that MR.D.I.Y. wants to reach customers and get closer to them. The direction model of the store's expansion is therefore based on department stores.
"In addition to standalone stores, MR.D.I.Y. also has a model called MR.D.I.Y. Express, which is a small size store in the community.
"The important thing is that the business model of the restaurant is not to franchise because I want to make management as easy as possible, so I do it myself, expand by myself, invest by myself.
Every part of the dialogue always emphasizes diversity, cheapness and quality, which clearly explains the DNA of MR.D.I.Y.