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KUALA LUMPUR: TRADERS and retailers get their supplies from wholesalers who charge low prices for their products which are bought in bulk.
GM Kuala Lumpur (GMKL) and GM Klang Wholesale City (GM Klang) are among the better known wholesale centres in the country.
They sell an assortment of products ranging from accessories, clothes, cosmetics and footwear to electrical items and home furniture, among others, at bargain prices.
GMKL and GM Klang are projects of TSI Holdings Sdn Bhd that form part of the supply chain involving manufacturers, suppliers, retailers and consumers.
For instance, customers can buy a crystal bracelet at RM2.20 each for 12 pieces. If you buy six key chains, it will only cost you RM1 each, while a fancy brooch costs RM1.20 for 12 pieces.
GMKL, formerly known as Plaza GM, is the first of TSI Holdings' wholesale project.
Located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur in Lorong Haji Taib, it was recognised by Malaysia's Book of Records as the largest wholesale plaza in Malaysia in 2007.
The plaza comprises eight floors with more than 200 wholesalers offering accessories such as brooches, bags and watches, as well as stationery, toys, electronic goods and fashionable garments.
Here, you can buy a watch at RM2 each, if you buy more than 12 watches. Fancy hair clips only cost 80 sen each for 12 pieces.
Following the success of GMKL, the group decided to build the country's first dedicated wholesale city in Klang. GM Klang is strategically situated in Bandar Botanic Klang, which is well connected to major highways such as the North South Highway, South Klang Valley Expressway, KESAS Highway, New Klang Valley Expressway, Damansara-Puchong Expressway, and the Coastal Ring Road.
GM Klang comprises five phases in all. Its objective is to become the largest wholesale hub in Southeast Asia. The development is expected to provide ultimately more than 3,000 shops.
The completion of the second phase of GM Klang at the end of last month had a 10-storey building boasting 750 wholesale lots spread over four levels.
The ground floor houses food and beverage, and service outlets such as banks and logistics companies.
The new plaza offers more products compared with GMKL. Among the products available are fashion wear, textiles, bags, accessories, footwear, eyewear, cosmetics, stationery, gifts, toys, and electronic and electrical goods and services.
GM Klang Sdn Bhd assistant general manager Danny W.T. Hing said the company strives to be the most comprehensive wholesale trade hub to fulfil all buyers' and suppliers' needs.
"We offer a myriad of products at affordable prices without compromising on quality. We want to provide a perfect platform for wholesalers and retailers to source their merchandise conveniently, as well as help develop their business.
"We also want to encourage more people to be involved in business. Not only is this wholesale development a provider of huge job opportunities, it also paves the way for business novices to realise their dreams.
"Those who aim to establish their businesses can either get their supplies from the wholesalers here, or they can become wholesalers too." said Hing.
The location, said Hing, is strategic as it is accessible to Port Klang, the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, and the Low Cost Carrier Terminal.
"As everyone knows, time management is always crucial in wholesaling. Both traders and wholesalers need to deliver the products in time, in spite of challenges such as traffic congestion.
"With the establishment of GM Klang, wholesalers can now enjoy uninterrupted loading and exporting." said Hing.
Regular patrons to both plazas comprise corporate clients 30 per cent), online traders (30 per cent), night market traders (20 per cent), with families, school club members, boutique owners and other traders forming the rest of the customers.
Hing said the products offered are mostly locally-made, with some imported from China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand and Brunei.
"The most sought-after products in GM Klang are children's clothing, fashion wear and tudung (head scarves). GMKL is known for its watches and accessories."
Tenant Philip Tan has been running his wholesale business for six years in GMKL before he shifted to GM Klang recently. He sells souvenir, toys, stationery, premium gifts and collectors' items.
A box of six card holders, for instance, is retailed at RM15 each. If you buy more than six boxes, it priced at RM9 each, while 12 boxes cost RM6 each.
If you buy 12 pairs of sunglasses, the price is RM4.50, depending on the design. Some sunglasses cost RM4.80 each for 12 pairs.
A toy car is priced at RM59, but if you buy 12 or more pieces, you will be charged half price.
Tan said most of his customers are students, factory workers and petty traders.
"My business has been doing very well over the years. Many schoolchildren purchase merchandises in bulk here. They use them as gifts or goodie bags for their school activities.
"I have even met traders who come all the way from Kelantan and Terengganu to get their supplies here," said Tan.
Time Box Trading supervisor I. Lily has been working as a watch wholesaler for seven years. Like Tan, she used to run her business at GMKL before expanding her wholesale business to GM Klang.
"We provide watches for children, men and women. One of the popular products at our shop are watches designed for lovebirds.
"The prices of the watches vary depending on the designs. The price range is from RM4 to RM10 each, if they are bought in bulk. Customers who buy 12 watches with simple designs can get them for RM4 each.
"A pair of 'lovebird' watches is priced at RM50, but if you buy six pairs, you only pay RM30 each," said Lily, adding that 12 pairs of lovebird watches are priced at RM20 each.
Lily said most of her customers are night market traders and shopping mall retailers.
Wholesaler for children's clothing and accessories Wei Fen said the majority of her customers are boutique owners, corporate clients and online traders.
Her store, Cuties Fashion Wholesales, offers a wide range of beautiful and elegant gowns and coats for children aged between 2 and 6.
"The retail price for each garment is between RM80 and RM100. Patrons who buy six clothes only have to pay RM40 to RM50 each.
"The clothes are imported from China, Taiwan and Thailand. We also have plans to import children's clothing from South Korea, as the country is famous for its fashion wear," said Wei.
Many wholesale buyers were seen carting away their bulk purchases on trolleys.
A gift shop trader from Putrajaya, Nur Fida Ramdzain, 26, bought 90 watches priced at RM5 each.
"This is my first time to GM Klang. I find this wholesale complex convenient and the products affordable. I also had fun bargaining with wholesalers for items I wanted. GM Klang is definitely a haven for wholesale shopping." she said.
Night market trader from Shah Alam who only wanted to be known as Yatim said: "I normally get my supplies from other wholesalers in Kuala Lumpur.
"It is time-consuming as they are far from my place and worse, sometimes I am stuck in traffic congestion which delays my business.
"I am grateful that we have such a large wholesale complex in Klang which houses various products. It makes my job easier as the location is strategic and I don't need to travel so far."
Nor Khalida Halim, 36, said: "I love to shop for my children's clothes here as I can buy in bulk and bargain for lower prices.
"I bought six clothes for my children, nieces and nephews priced at RM15 each."
GMKL and GM Klang open daily, including public holidays. It operates from 10am to 7pm.
For more information, visit www.plazagm.com.my or www.gmklang.com.