The latest annual HDB survey (2012) on heartland shopkeepers’ expectations shows improving sentiments.
63% of the HDB shopkeepers expressed satisfaction with their business in 2012, a rise from the corresponding level of 54% in 2011.
The individual satisfaction level, however, varied among the different trades. Medical and dental clinics registered the highest score, at nearly 90%. Also surveyed were eating establishments (66%), and outlets focusing on education/childcare (65%), cake/ confectionery (65%), optical shops (52%), furniture (51%), religious/geomancy (44%).
Location and extent of competition were key factors affecting their satisfaction level.
48% of the shopkeepers were proactive in taking measures to improve their business, such as adjusting prices, ramping up publicity and widening their product/service offerings. 87% of these shopkeepers saw their businesses improve after initiating their measures.
Do they expect their business to improve in the next 6 months? 25% said “yes”. This was an increase from 19% in 2011.
Longer term, do they plan to continue their business in the next 5 years? 74% said “yes”, though this was a drop from 82% in 2011.
HDB shops are found in (a) HDB town centres; (b) HDB neighbourhood centres; and (c) HDB precincts. Shopkeepers operating in town centres were more optimistic (30% expect their business to improve), as compared to those in neighbourhood centres (26%) and precincts (21%).
HDB shops perform important social functions. Besides creating jobs for local residents, they provide daily convenience for our heartlanders and help to keep the cost of living affordable. HDB will do its best to help the shopkeepers perform their social functions. In fact, HDB already has various assistance schemes in place.
I urge shopkeepers to take time to learn more about these assistance schemes, and take advantage of them to improve their businesses.
The fifth annual HDB Retail Seminar will be taking place next Thursday (15 Aug). I encourage more HDB retailers to attend the seminar to learn from one another and pick up tips on how to enhance their business and stay competitive, so that they can better serve residents.
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