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8 of 10 HDB shopkeepers optimistic: Khaw
Aug 21, 2012
by Cheryl Tay HDB shopkeepers are generally optimistic about their businesses, according to Khaw Boon Wan, Minister of National Development. Citing findings from HDB's Business Expectations Survey 2011, Khaw revealed in a blog entry that eight out of 10 shops within residential estates plan to continue their businesses over the next five years — the highest percentage since 2007. While most of the businesses intend to keep operating, less than half admitted that they are satisfied with their current performance. Khaw cited that medical and dental clinics were most satisfied with their businesses while optical shops were the least satisfied, although most of them still intend to continue over the next five years. "There is also a difference in business prospects for shopkeepers operating in the mature towns as compared to those in newer towns," said Khaw, explaining that the varied levels of competition affect the shopkeepers' perceptions. As such, shops in mature towns were more satisfied with their businesses than those in middle-aged and young towns. "Shopkeepers are businessmen. They know what to do to continue to enjoy good business." "One strategy is to be proactive in reaching out to customers. They have to be creative and flexible in their business models, and offer new and innovative products and services," said Khaw, adding that shopkeepers in HDB estates may also avail of various assistance schemes, such as the Revitalisation of Shops Scheme and on-site retail skills training. A total of 2,702 shopkeepers, including HDB shop owners, tenants and subtenants of sold shops participated in HDB's 2011 survey.