Thursday, April 14, 2016

Traditional Retailers / Mall Owners and Managers - consider the implications...

Alibaba buys controlling stake in Southeast Asian retailer Lazada

What does this mean to you?

1. Read this

Retrieved 14 Apr 2016 2051 hrs

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has agreed to buy a controlling stake in Southeast Asian online retailer Lazada to tap into the region's lucrative consumer market.
Under the deal worth approximately $1 billion, Alibaba will buy around $500 million worth of newly issued shares in Lazada, as well as acquire shares from some existing shareholders.
Alibaba President Michael Evans said the investment will support Alibaba's expansion plans in Southeast Asia.
"With the investment in Lazada, Alibaba gains access to a platform with a large and growing consumer base outside China, a proven management team and a solid foundation for future growth in one of the most promising regions for e-commerce globally," he said in a statement.
Max Bittner, CEO of Lazada Group, added, "the transaction will help us to accelerate our goal to provide the 560 million consumers in the region access to the broadest and most unique assortment of products."
Germany's Rocket Internet will sell a 9.1 percent stake in Lazada for $137 million in cash but will still have an 8.8 percent stake. British supermarket giant Tesco will sell an 8.6 percent equity stake in Lazada for $129 million, bringing down its stake in the company to 8.3 percent. Tesco said that the proceeds from the deal will be used for general working capital.
Both Rocket Internet and Tesco said they have entered into a "put-call arrangement" with Alibaba, giving the buyer the right to purchase, and shareholders the right to sell their remaining stakes at a "fair market value" within the 12 to 18 month period after the closing of the deal.
In buying Lazada, the idea is to help buyers and sellers on Alibaba's platform to get access to the Southeast Asian market. Lazada has already built up a supply chain, delivery and payment options in the regions in which it operates.
Marie Sun, a senior equity analyst at Morningstar, told CNBC that Alibaba is looking for future growth drivers outside China and has already invested in markets such as India, South Korea and the United States.
Sun added that Southeast Asia's e-commerce market is still underdeveloped, compared to those in China and U.S., which implies there would be higher growth in the future. "So if they can dominate the market when the mobile internet penetration increases in the region, Alibaba can benefit in the longer term," she said.
It also continues Alibaba's expansion beyond its home market. Last year, the firm appointed country managers in the U.K. and Italy as it looked to increase its footprint in Europe and help businesses in the region sell into China. Behind its expansion plans is the idea that Alibaba can become a gateway to China for buyers and sellers on its platform.
Lazada was founded in 2012 and serves regional markets including Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. 
Earlier this month, Alibaba announced that as of the end of its fiscal year 2016, which ended March 31, it was the largest retailer in the world as measured by annual gross merchandise volume (GMV). The company has yet to announce earnings for the full fiscal year. 
2. Then read this

Who else does Alibaba own?

Alibaba takes bigger stake in SingPost
PUBLISHED JUL 9, 2015, 5:50 AM SGT

14 Aug 2016 2056 hrs

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group is investing about $279 million to expand its holdings in Singapore Post (SingPost) and take a share of its subsidiary, aimed at boosting growth in their e-commerce logistics platform across the Asia-Pacific, the two companies announced yesterday.
Mainboard-listed SingPost is growing its e-commerce business, and last year an Alibaba unit bought a more than 10 per cent stake in SingPost for $249 million.
In the latest deal, Alibaba said it was buying an additional 5 per cent stake for $187.1 million. Alibaba is the second-largest shareholder in SingPost, after Singtel.
On completion, Alibaba's deemed interest in SingPost will rise to 14.51 per cent from 10.23 per cent.
The acquisition is subject to approval by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore and SingPost shareholders.
Alibaba will also invest up to $92 million to buy a 34 per cent stake in Quantium Solutions International (QSI), a SingPost subsidiary that provides e-commerce logistics and fulfilment services across the Asia-Pacific. SingPost will hold the remaining 66 per cent interest.
"QSI will reorganise its business and become the joint-venture vehicle of SingPost and Alibaba Group. This will allow QSI to ramp up its development of e-commerce logistics infrastructure and services," SingPost said, adding that QSI will encompass e-commerce warehousing, last-mile delivery and other end-to-end e-commerce solutions.
Said SingPost CEO Wolfgang Baier: "We are now taking the next step by building a regional e-commerce logistics platform and infrastructure for e-commerce players across Asia-Pacific based on Quantium Solutions - our e-commerce logistics subsidiary. Alibaba started as our customer and then last year became our shareholder and business partner."
SingPost and Alibaba have also entered into a joint strategic business development framework to improve efficiency and integration of e-commerce logistics solutions. A joint steering committee will be created and drawn from their respective executives.
Mr Lim Ho Kee, SingPost's chairman, said the pace of transformation at SingPost has been accelerating. "As a postal service provider, we are on a burning platform, facing a global decline in mail revenue with trends like e-substitution and lifestyle changes," he said.
"It is a win-win situation for both of us because we share similar goals and have a natural fit between our operations across Asia."
Alibaba chief executive Daniel Zhang said that the additional investment in SingPost and the new joint venture signify the commitment to expanding the global logistics footprint, which will help Chinese businesses to sell and global brands to deliver more easily around the world.
3. Then read this!

Singpost Is Developing A Futuristic Shopping Mall To House Online Retailers

Retrieved 14 Aug 2016 2100 hrs

Weeks after revealing plans to use drones to deliver the mail, Singpost — Singapore’s postal service provider — has unveiled another futuristic e-commerce concept, a mall that combines online and offline shopping together under one roof.
The mall (artist’s impressive above) will be located at Singapore Post Centre (SPC) and is scheduled to be completed by mid-2017. The company said it would feature 25,000 square meters of retail space spread across five levels. There’ll be an eight-screen cinema but, most importantly, Singpost envisages the mall being the future of retail — where shoppers can peruse items in store and order them online for delivery to their home. (The delivery and logistics are part are where Singpost truly brings its resources into play.)
The organization believes that marrying online and offline commerce will benefit both customers and retailers, as it explained in an announcement today:
A consumer could browse in-store, purchase the product and arrange for delivery of the product directly to their home. The consumer could then continue shopping, watch a movie or have a meal in the mall without having to carry bulky shopping bags. The retailer, on the other hand, could save on storage space in the store as fulfilment would be done at the backend of the warehouse.
 It’s certainly a bold vision, particularly since this mall would be the first of its kind — even though online-to-offline is already a trend that is enabling some physical retailers to extend their reach to customers through the internet.
Some types of shopping are based around instant gratification or spontaneity, i.e. actually taking a product home with you, but Singpost is betting that in some cases — such as bulkier items or more mundane purchases — shopping online and a speedy home delivery is what the people will want.
We’ve already seen Alibaba invest $4.6 billion in foster closer links between online and offline sales. That deal saw the Chinese e-commerce firm — which is an investor in Singpost — buy a 20 percent slice of Chinese physical retail giant Suning. Part of that coming-together will see Alibaba given the opportunity of “a physical experience” with products in store — i.e. try it in person and buy it via Alibaba — while there are plans to offer after-sales support for products bought via Alibaba’s online services.
Singpost, however, is taking this concept to the next level with a mall. For now, only cinema firm Golden Village Multiplex and coffee chain Kopitiam are confirmed tenants. It is easy to see how both of those businesses could benefit from closer alignment with internet sales and distribution, but it will be interesting to see which other companies inhabit the mall when it goes from vision to reality over the next 18 months or so. And, of course, whether the concept takes off in other countries.

3. Then understand this!
Retrieved 14 April 2016, 2118 hrs
What this means to you - We'll be as politically incorrect as possible:
You're going to be screwed.  Big time.
This emerging business model will cut you off from your customers, and mess up your supply / delivery chain.
  • Alibaba - global e-market place where they connect consumers, small businesses directly to manufacturers.
  • Lazada - e-commerce platform where they engage in affiliate marketing, so everyone in their system will sell like crazy. You can buy almost anything there - they're a SE Asian Taobao.
  • Singpost - logistics solutions provider

Their combined ecosystem reaches out to suppliers and consumers bypassing traditional sales and distribution channels will cause your sales volume to dip, and lower YOUR customers/shopper's propensity to spend with you.
Granted that the millennials (read : the massive spenders of the future) are all Linux, Windows, IOS, Android savvy, and spend loads of time browsing on their mobile devices, it's only a matter of time before you find yourself or your business irrelevant.
But, the good news is that people (especially in Singapore) still need to go out to their homes, spend time on leisure and on recreation, to do something, to eat something, to see something.
Shopping for merchandise (less perishable groceries perhaps) will be low on their priority.
If you are a mall owner / venue manager - how are you going to fill up those retail spaces? 
How are you going to get sustainable, let alone grow your footfall (that determines the amount of rental your tenants are willing to pay) ?
How are you going to get customers to spend with you?
What can you do, strategically and tactically?


Saturday, April 9, 2016

Aspiring Home Bakers - take note!

Today we take a special look into the legitimacy of home bakers....

Google : Home Based Business Scheme in Singapore, and 3 websites will pop up in your feed, in no particular order:

1. URA
2. HDB
3. NEA

Point 1 : You do not need to register with ACRA to run your small home business. (But you still must inform HDB)

Note - Applicants need not register with ACRA first to apply for HOS (Home Office Registration).HDB's Home Office Scheme is applicable for HDB residential flats and living quarters of the HDB commercial property. Only the Owner who wish to operate a Home Office can apply via OBLS as long as his/her business can comply with the conditions of the scheme and his/her business does not fall under the non-permissible list of businesses. The only fee payable to HDB is the administration fee $20 for 5-year approval period. For third party filer, please print the prescribed Letter of Authorisation. Please refer to Terms and Conditions 

Source :
Retrieved 7.17pm 9 Apr 2017

Point 2 : You do not need to, and can not turn your home kitchen into a bakery, and can only sell to friends.

What this means : you need to have many friends so you can sell to some of them. And you can make friends adding them into your facebook (or them adding you), following you on instagram, twitter etcetera.

"Examples of Home-based Activities that Can Be Allowed in Private and HDB Residential Premises
  1. the resident who is at home doing office work using a computer, which is linked to the office main computer
  2. the resident undertaking sewing work at home to supplement the household income
  3. freelance artist/journalist/photographer/writer etc operating in his/her own home, without employing anyone and where business activities are not conducted within the premises
  4. the resident baking cakes at home on a small scale for sale to his/her friends without turning the place into a bakery
  5. the resident conducting private tuition for not more than 3 students at any one time
  6. the resident undertaking hairdressing services to supplement household income, without employing any workers
  7. the resident using a small part of the house for storage of goods which are for sale at the resident's own market stall, provided the storage does not exceed 10 cubic meter
  8. the resident undertaking piecemeal work at his/her home from factory on work rate basis, to supplement household income"

Retrieved 7.17pm 9 Apr 2017

Point 3 : It is better for you to be a certified food handler (more credibility to you), and conform to food labeling standards such as date of expiry, and your contact details.

What this means : you can take up a food handling course at Dignity Kitchen, hawker social enterprise

The official name for the course to attend is the Basic Food Hygiene Course.

"HDB/URA's Home Based Small Scale Business Scheme

The Home Based Small Scale Business Scheme by HDB and URA allows residents to carry out activities in their HDB and private residential premises to supplement their income. Under this scheme, residents can prepare small quantities of food for sale to their friends and relatives without turning their residences into a commercial outlet. A licence is not required from NEA. Nonetheless, residents preparing food under the scheme can refer to these guidelines on good hygiene tips to adopt."

Source :
Retrieved 7.17pm 9 Apr 2017

You know, you can't sell to the public, so you can't participate in flea markets to sell. But you can participate in flea markets to provide sampling of your products and introduce your own well as to make friends!

As long as you understand what the above means, you'll be able to participate in our flea markets and bazaars.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

What is Simisi? Simisi is what?

First of all, it takes a bit of understanding of Singlish, or hokkien to know simisi is what?

Simisi this?
Simisi that?

That's right, simisi is what is this.

Simisi Xperimental Bazaar?

Means xperimental bazaar lor !

If we recall what we did in school during science lessons, we conducted xperiments, doing things we have never done before, yes?

Our Xperimental bazaars are the same, it means we've never been there before, and it's the first time we're there and that we will further tweak and update our bazaars there as we understand the nature of the site and human behaviour there.