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Unveiling Chow Kit Trade Centre’s New Chapter

Success is a continuous journey for Dato’ Michael Lim, Founder of VINSOON Group who worked his way up from being a salesman at a retail shop in Serdang, Selangor for three years before putting forward his first business idea into motion with Hypershoe.

Established in 1996, Hypershoe is considered as one of Malaysia’s leading shoe retailers selling affordable yet high quality and sturdy footwear for both children and adults. Hypershoe chain stores are mostly located in shoplots and complexes, with its first store, Vinsoon Shoe Trading Sdn Bhd located on Jalan Ipoh, Kuala Lumpur.

Armed with a strong vision and with a desire for success, it was Lim’s initial dream to advance the Hypershoe brand into a hypermarket concept whereby customers can find comfortable shoes made from top-of-the-line materials with quality designs at an affordable price in one venue.

The shoe retailer believes that the right pair of shoes can transform your body language and attitude and uplift your feelings.

After a tenacious and gruelling 21 years of hard work, Hypershoe now spans an impressive total of 40 outlets across Klang Valley – an achievement borne from the persistence of Lim to achieve his goals.

Facing The Future with Courage

At 26, Lim was determined to excel in the challenging world of retailers.

“I had to prove myself at a young age, having grown up without any proper tertiary education. My father worked hard as a taxi driver to make ends meet in our family. I am grateful to him for bringing me up and for providing me with the basic necessities in life. His tenacity motivated me to become a better person until finally, I am able to give my family a better life,” relates Lim on how his father inspired him to make a change for the better.

In 2006, having operated his Hypershoe business for 10 years, he then decided that it would be a wiser decision to invest in a shoplot to save on rental costs. Therefore in the following year, he built a semi-detached factory in Klang representing his first property development as he envisioned the rising potential of the property industry.

Not one to back away from opportunities, Lim seized the opportunity to enter the property development business several years ago. In 2013, he bought a land in Chow Kit, Kuala Lumpur and decided to use it for the development of Chow Kit Trade Centre (CKTC) in 2017.

Rejuvenating Chow Kit

Commenting at the launch of CKTC at the Chow Kit Trade Centre Sales Gallery, Lim said developing CKTC provides significant value not only to Chow Kit but also to wholesalers and investors of CKTC. He emphasises the importance of nurturing Chow Kit to embrace the fast-paced financial and development movement that Kuala Lumpur is now experiencing to be on par with other fast-moving cities around the world.

“For many years, Chow Kit served as a great area for the wholesale community including for leisure activities due to its great location and varied wholesale products that can be found there ranging from watches, custom jewelry, fashionable accessories to household and kitchenware among others,” he says.

According to him, CKTC is set to be Chow Kit’s first major one-stop wholesale mall for cosmetic products, kitchenware and traditional Malay herbs. Incidentally, the new 10-storey icon in the heart of Kuala Lumpur’s Central Business District (CBD) is touted to be one-of-its-kind in the country.

Lim says CKTC will feature a settlement boasting the area’s rich heritage of being a well-known wholesale area for 50 years. CKTC is a freehold development undertaken by New Paradise Development under the umbrella of VINSOON Group.

A thriving Malaysian-grown company, VINSOON Group has grown steadily since its inception in 1996, spearheading the way for business development while enhancing the lives of people around Malaysia. Its future aim is to penetrate Asia as well.

The group’s longstanding reputation and experience in this industry has enabled it to deliver sustainable solutions and substantial results. This facilitates it to move forward in the goal of building a brand that represents global standards in product quality and service delivery.

New Twist to Old Trade

Boosting a contemporary and attractive building design, the upcoming wholesale development will feature 254 lots with built-ups from 52 sq ft to 181 sq ft. The pricing starts from RM101,400. There is a 4.5 metre high additional storage area above each shop. Other services provided within the one-stop wholesale centre include 24-hours security, Close Circuit Television (CCTV) monitoring, custom built loading and unloading facilities.

According to Lim, CKTC will breathe new life into the historic town of Chow Kit known for its rows of long-established retail outlets specialising in wholesale goods. He adds that it will also elevate the wholesale business to a different level by allowing wholesalers to experience their own unique and exclusive wholesale space at the distinctive one-stop wholesale centre.

“Following the strong demand for wholesale retailer space, we received an overwhelming response for this development when the project was open to sellers in February 2017,” he says.

With a net floor area spanning 34,650 sq ft, 60% of the development has been taken up by business investors and wholesalers. They will be bringing in a range of products and stocks focusing on cosmetic products, kitchenware and traditional Malay herbs from China, Thailand, Korea and Indonesia,” adds Lim.

The group foresees the development that comes with a Gross Development Value (GDV) of RM160 million will be fully taken up by December 2017 and completed by end of 2019.

The integrated CKTC development comprising Malaysia’s first Malay heritage food court is well-poised to becoming the next big development and a major one-stop wholesaler for both investment and leisure opportunities in Kuala Lumpur.

It has already secured MK Curtain as one of the leading curtain retailers in Malaysia which will fully occupy the whole Level 7 of CKTC while Hypershoe will have its own wholesale and factory outlet on Level 6.

Surviving The Industry

“Being a business Entrepreneur is actually very tough because it basically involves overcoming different challenges. In order to become a successful person, you will need to be friendly and humble to everyone, willing to learn from your mistakes and accept the challenges that come along,” Lim explains.

“The biggest challenge that I faced was when Hypershoe expanded rapidly back in 2003. During that challenging time, the company did not have enough cash flow resulting in the organisation being unable to pay salary to our employees, rental fees and even the money owed to our suppliers,” reflects Lim.

“I felt like giving up at that time but at the end of the day, I persevered by closing down more than 30 Hypershoe retail outlets in Johor Bahru, Penang and Kuantan and only maintaining the remaining retail outlet in Klang Valley,” says Lim.

Today, the group has grown and successfully expanded its operations combining the wealth of experience and expertise gained from their retail and property development project.

“The majority of our funding comes from our investments. We will usually invest in an area with good potential and then, we will refinance the property and use the returns to invest and expand our business,” says Lim.

The group feels that it is the right timing to invest in Chow Kit as Kuala Lumpur is the central region of Malaysia that will receive enormous benefit from China’s One Belt, One Road initiative. This was due to the link especially between China and Central Asia, China and Europe, China and Southeast Asia as well as between China and East Africa.

“Following this, we realised the full potential that Chow Kit can give to businesses and tourists alike. Yet, we still want to retain the history of Chow Kit for what it has been known for these past few decades. And, this is what will attract both business and tourist to venture with CKTC,” he explains.

His prediction of the market outlook in the next 10 years is there will be good opportunities for foreign investments in Malaysia due to its central location in Asia which will definitely give a boost to the development of various sectors and industries, hence generating greater growth through good infrastructure as the main catalyst.

By: Felicia Soon

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