Sundry Shop

Family owned sundry shops are becoming a rarity in Kuala Lumpur and other major cities/towns of Malaysia as the hypermarket (Tesco, Aeon, Giant, etc.) and mall shopping lifestyle trend takes hold over the years. Some just couldn’t cope with the competition (in prices, variety of SKUs carried, shopping convenience & environment) from the big boys or find a niche within the business to keep themselves relevant, and therefore regrettably, had no choice but to cease trading. Sad state of affairs, the livelihood of families are affected, the ‘sundry shop’ culture diminishes; but the reality is, if a business cannot turn a profit, it has no choice but to close.

Product Knowledge And Expert Advice

Those which are still in business, I find are ones which are able to carve a niche for themselves by serving a local community, offering friendly and superior customer service, good product knowledge to the point of being able to advise or consult on a customer’s requirement, product specialisation and last but not least, operating the business off their own premises or one which has low rental, like a stall or shoplot in a local market.

Friendly And Service With A Smile

I am guilty of giving most of my grocery (sundry goods) shopping business to the hypermarkets, as there are a few located nearby from home and is convenient for me to do so.  But for fresh produce like vegetables, fruits, fish, poultry and meat, we prefer to visit and buy from the local wet market for freshness and also the shopping experience. One of the local wet markets which we frequent now and again is in Kampung Chempaka. Here, tucked at the far end of the the dry goods section, is a family owned and run sundry shop which amazes me with the sheer assortment of ‘Chinese’  dry goods, friendly customer service, product specialisation, sound product knowledge and free cooking/preparation advice and tips if you ask for it. With a constant and steady stream of customers, they certainly have carved themselves a firm niche in the sundry shop business and are here to stay, their customers all the happier for it :).

All photos: Fujifilm X-E2 with 35mm


8 thoughts on “Sundry Shop

  1. Good site! I truly love how it is simple on my eyes and the data are well written. I’m wondering how I might be notified whenever a new post has been made. I have subscribed to your RSS feed which must do the trick! Have a great day!

    • Hello there,
      I almost missed your comment as it ended up in my spam folder.
      Thank you very much for visiting and following my blog, much appreciated, hope the RSS feed works for you; otherwise, kindly inform.
      Thanks and regards, Ken.

  2. Sincerely thanks to Ken & Agnes for your compliment on the Sundry Shop which located in Kampung Chempaka.

    If without this sundry shop also without me today because that is really super duper hard from my parents inherited the business. Although that business is not same as outside that hyper supermarket, but we can do for our daily needs.


  3. Two wonderful shots of the sundry shop, Ken. They bring back memories for me. At one point while living in KL, I lived in Cheras and frequented Yulek market a lot. The shopkeepers were always very happy to chit chat no matter how many customers were queuing up 😀

    It is sad to hear that a lot of them – or mama shops as they are called in Singapore – are slowly closing their doors. True that bigger shopping malls have more variety of products, and I think they are also more safe there (perhaps less pickpockets and snatch thieves on bikes). But maybe one day they will find their charm again. Wishing you a good week.

    • yes, i certainly hope the sundry shop charm and culture lives on, and with the local community’s support, they can survive and remain around for many years more. know yulek, but not the market, will check it out when i am over the neck of the woods someday.
      regards, ken.

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