Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 31st 2014 Contents JULY 2014 • WEEK FIVE www.guardian.co.tt BUSINESS GUARDIAN
COVER STORY | BG5
SMEs that become publicly-listed companies
on the T&T Stock Exchange (TTSE) and he
referred to some of the advantages for them.
A reduction from 25 per cent to the 10 per
cent rate would apply for the first five years
after the company is listed on the exchange.
"Excellent Stores fall within the SME cat-
egory as its earnings fall between $5 million
and $50 million. We fall within this in the
upper category. There are other advantages of
being listed such as tax breaks, instead of
paying 25 per cent corporation tax, it drops
to 10," he said.
Earlier this year, CariCris said the BBB ratings
for Excellent Stores was determined by strong
brand equity and good geographical reach as
demonstrated by four branches with further
plans to expand both locally and regionally.
The company has a solid track record of 55
years and has developed a strong reputation
as a leading one-stop shop, CariCris said.
Franco Siu Chong said they have just started
the process to be listed.
"We have just got our ratings. Right now
we are interviewing investment bankers and
brokers to be able to develop the right part-
nerships to make this successful. To make the
right IPOs you must have the right brokers,
accounting firms and it is a process. That
process takes between 12 to 18 months."
He said T&T consumers have been "good
to the family" and being publicly listed would
give the public an opportunity to have a stake
in the business.
"My parents came from China with nothing
and they were able to grow a successful busi-
ness. We would like to share this continued
success with the public in partnership of shares.
From this, capital and equity will be injected
into the company. This could even lead to
To remain relevant and continue to innovate
in the market, Excellent Stores recently did a
soft launch of its online store.
Alex Siu Chong, corporate controller who
also took part in the interview, said they have
been examining the possibility of an online
store since 2008, but it took time to research
and build a product that met and exceeded
the needs of the changing consumer demo-
He added that the new online store eases
the logistics of doing business in T&T.
"In T&T, traffic is horrendous. No longer
can you just drop into a store because you
could easily spend two hours in traffic or you
cannot find a parking spot. People s lives have
got busier, everything has got increasingly dif-
ficult. At the same time, online shopping has
increased globally. We are no longer competing
in a geographical region in T&T, we are com-
peting globally. The only way to do that is to
create a global site, a global experience," he
He said if businesses like Excellent Stores
want to continue to contribute to the growing
of the national economy, they need to evolve
with the changing times.
"We now need to move beyond the geo-
graphical boundary of T&T," he said.
He said, so far, customer reaction has been
"Customers think the Web site looks clean.
It looks like an international Web site. Other
customers cannot believe how quickly they
have received their items after placing their
orders online," he said.
So far they have more than 700 items on
the site and will be continuing to add items
on a weekly basis ramping up for the back-
to-school, Double Ten and Christmas sea-
Excellent Stores soft launched its online
shopping site July 10, 2014 to capture feedback
from its consumers via social media and in-
stores. They will follow through with a public
launch August 1 offering an online promotion
and through other channels of media.
To mark the launch, Excellent Stores is
offering an opening special of 15 per cent off
online purchases from August 1 to 31.
For those unfamiliar with online shopping,
Excellent Stores has given three steps.
Step 1: Access the Web site at www.excel-
Step 2: Search the product and select.
Step 3: Add to cart and check out using
secure payment powered by First Atlantic
Commerce. The customers order will then
be processed and shipped within 2-4 working
days or collected at a store location of their
Alex Siu Chong said customers can also
enjoy free in-store pick-up at any Excellent
Stores Branch, flat rate shipping of $30 on
TTPost Courier deliveries and a ready-to-
assist customer care hotline.
Also, members can review their previous
order history, wish list and update account
Franco Siu Chong, said they have "consol-
idated" their operations over the last few years.
"We have gone into brand-name merchan-
dise. We have the distributorship for Samsonite.
We have the distributorship for High Sierra.
We also have the distributorship for Libby s.
Our lines continue to grow with these brand
name merchandise from the United States,"
Despite a competitive market in consumer
packaged goods, he said they continue to lead
and be competitive.
"Our focus is on brand merchandise giving
the consumer good, strong merchandise at
reasonable, competitive prices. This is where
we have really consolidated ourself," he said.
Alex Siu Chong said they have been around
for 55 years and each decade has its own chal-
He added that when a company has been
around for so long it always has a "target on
its back" and it has to keep constantly inno-
"We have seen economic booms and slumps
to demographic changes, technology changes.
So a business needs to be able to shift in terms
of listening to customers, evolving different
lines and looking at product selection. If we
get into a line that is not yielding, then we
get out of it. We also look at our human
resource management policies," he said.
He said they cater for the different geo-
graphic areas of the country.
"In MovieTowne, we have the higher-quality
products tailored to that demographic. Each
area has its own disposable income bracket,"
He said nationals of T&T have got use to
"bad customer service."
"I think we are striving not just to offer
okay customer service. We are putting a lot
of resources and training to be able to offer
that individualised experience. We want our
customers to be happy," he said.
Franco Siu Chong said most of what they
sell is what they import themselves.
"We try to be different and look for mer-
chandise others do not carry. Then when the
competition start to get into those areas we
look for new brands. We have got to be flexible
and move, it is the only way we can move
forward," he said.
He also said that a loyalty card is in the
"We have to move step by step, online shop-
ping would have been one step. The next step
would be branch expansion."
From Page 4
A business needs to be able to shift in terms of listening to customers, evolving different lines
and looking at product selection. If we get into a line that is not yielding, then we get out of it.
Links Archive July 30th 2014 August 1st 2014 Navigation Previous Page Next Page