Major local retail group makes giant purchase

KUALA LUMPUR: DFI Retail Group (DFI) today entered into an agreement with a leading Malaysian retail group, led by local businessman and entrepreneur Datuk Andrew Lim, to acquire all of DFI’s food businesses in Malaysia, including the iconic Giant brand.

Completion of this transition is expected to take place in early March 2023.

Lim is currently the Group Deputy Chairman of SOGO Department Store Sdn Bhd, as well as the Executive Chairman of the GAMA Group which owns and operates the iconic GAMA Supermarket & Departmental Store in Penang.

This local retail group will also take on 2,500 team members who currently support the food business. DFI is grateful for the dedication and commitment of these team members, and firmly believe that their experience and passion for the brands will offer strong support to the competitive ambition of Lim and his local leadership team.

These team members will also benefit from more career growth opportunities by being part of a broader retail group in Malaysia.

Chris Bush, CEO of Southeast Asia, DFI Retail Group said “We are delighted to be able to transition our food business to such a well-respected and successful local retail group, who will also be retaining our dedicated team members as well. This is a win for both our customers and team members – by combining our food business with the local retail group’s other retail businesses, this will provide further growth opportunities for our team members and enable greater competitiveness, service and value for customers in Malaysia. We have complete confidence in the future success of the food business under their leadership, it is the best outcome for all, and we wish the new owners and all our team members the very best for this exciting next chapter.”

Meanwhile, Lim said, “We wish to express our sincere gratitude to DFI Retail Group for entrusting to us, the guardianship and future advancement of all these outstanding Malaysian retail brands. We, together with our newly made 2,500 friends and colleagues, shall endeavour to the best of our abilities, to add value and to enhance the respective brand equities of Cold Storage, TMC, Giant and Mercato brand names in Malaysia.”

DFI remains fully committed to its retail business in Malaysia, sharpening its strategic focus on the fast-growing health and beauty business and will continue to wholly own and operate Guardian Health and Beauty stores, which was voted in 2022 by customers in Malaysia as the Number One Retailer there. The company has exciting plans over the next two years – continuing to refresh the Guardian store format and significantly expanding its store network (currently now over 500), with the expected creation of hundreds of jobs.

Chris said, “This transition will allow us to focus our priorities exclusively on the expansion of our Guardian Health and Beauty business in Malaysia. We are very excited by the opportunities for Guardian as it continues to grow rapidly, bolstered by the significant expansion of our store network, store refurbishments and improved customer offerings. This move will allow us to have even greater impact for our customers as we build on our strengths in delivering excellence to our customers every day.