By Ooi Tee Ching
KUALA LUMPUR: The 10-year Small Retailer Transformation Programme or Transformasi Kedai Runcit (Tukar) aims to help small sundry shops modernise and prepare for the goods and services tax (GST). "The government will eventually impose GST. When small sundry shops learn to incorporate point-of-sale systems in their daily trading activities, this will help them prepare for GST when the government implements this measure," said Mydin Mohamed Holdings Bhd managing director Datuk Ameer Ali Mydin.
He said when sundry shops were modernised to use point-of-sale system, it would be easier for the retailers to itemise food items that were within or excluded from GST.
The Tukar programme offers opportunities for 50,000 small sundry shops throughout the country to modernise and upgrade with the help of bigger retailers like Mydin, Econsave and Speedmart99.
"The Tukar initiative was a collective vision under the wholesale and retail lab session organised by Pemandu (Performance and Delivery Unit)," Ameer said.
Under Tukar, traditional sundry shops are offered the option to upgrade and undergo a facelift with the help of key local anchor companies like Mydin and Econsave.
"It is not mandatory, it is voluntary. Sundry shop owners who want to modernise can register with the government," Ameer said.
The Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry will play the role of a facilitator to set rules for large, medium and small outlets.
"Medium- and large-sized retailers like us can offer the time and effort to give consultation to small sundry shops on the proper layout of merchandise," said Ameer.
"We'll be doing this on a corporate social responsibility basis. Money is not everything. In fact, fair competition among retailers, big and small, is healthy.
"We have our own niche and we want to play a complementary role to small sundry shops."