From food to fashion, Malaysia has numerous homegrown retail brands that are well-known locally while some brands even expanded their outlets overseas. Malaysia has famous retail brands that were established many years ago while some are relatively new. In this issue, Top 10 of Malaysia takes a look at its list of the top ten power retail brands that were established locally in the 1990s to late 2000s. These brands are current go-to-places for Malaysians who need to shop for groceries, essentials, clothing, shoes, beauty products or to even enjoy a mouth-watering meal or indulge in a refreshing beverage.
Founded by Datuk Steven Sim in 1997, Secret Recipe Cakes & Café Sdn Bhd is one of Malaysia’s largest café chain with more than 440 outlets in Malaysia and across Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, China, Brunei, Maldives and Bangladesh. Secret Recipe offers a casual dining concept with a wide range of gourmet cakes and an extensive menu of Western and Asian cuisines and desserts. Its cafes are located in urban locations and shopping malls in major cities and it provides a modern contemporary and vibrant interior concept for diners.
KK Supermart is an award-winning retail brand registered under KK Supermart & Superstore Sdn Bhd. It was established by Datuk Seri Dr KK Chai in 2001 under his parent company, KK Group of Companies. As a flagship business of KK Group, it has now expanded to nearly 300 units of retailing outlets in Malaysia, mainly in the Klang Valley, Putrajaya, Cyberjaya, KLIA2, Malacca, Seremban and also across Nepal and India. KK Supermart is known as a modernised mom-and-pop store that provides 24 hours convenience service to Malaysians for their daily essentials.
Founded by Hiro Tan in 1998 under Rotiboy Bakeshoppe Sdn Bhd, Roti Boy now has 18 stores in Malaysia, 35 stores in Indonesia and 150 stores in South Korea. It is famous for its Rotiboy bun, which is a generic name for Mexican buns. Other than buns, Roti Boy also sells breads, sandwiches, puffs and pastries, muffins, cakes, beverages and light meals such as fresh cut gourmet sandwiches, mushroom soup, salads, toast and eggs while at Korea, Roti Boy sells buns, coffee and ice-cream.
Tealive is founded by Bryan Loo under his company, Loob Holding Sdn Bhd. Tealive was established in 2017 and it has over 150 outlets all throughout Malaysia and an outlet in the United Kingdom. Tealive offers a variety of drinks such as tea, coco, coffee, smoothies, sea salt cheese, matcha, fruit tea and sparkling juice. Its signature beverages are the Brown Sugar Pearl Milk Tea, Roasted Milk Tea with handmade Pearls and Sweet Potato, Passion Fruit Green Tea and Grapefruit Chia Tea Booster.
Koong Woh Tong
Established in 1990, Koong Woh Tong Sdn Bhd sells Chinese traditional herbal jelly called “Guiling Gao” and herbal teas, namely “Wu Hua Cha”, “Ya Sei Mei”, Five Flower Herbal Tea and Abrum Cantonese Plum Tea in Malaysia. Its herbal products made by authentic herbs formula contain healing effect and the business grew tremendously. Koong Woh Tong has 50 outlets within Peninsular Malaysia and eight outlets in Singapore.
BoatNoodle Sdn Bhd was established by Tony Lim in 2014 and it has over 46 outlets and 700 employees. BoatNoodle’s tagline is “serving little bowls of happiness” and it is well known for its Thai noodles. Customers get to experience the “bowl stacking” style of dining as it serves noodles that originate from the floating noodle markets of Ayutthaya.
Established in 1994, BritishIndia was founded by Pat Liew and SH Yong. BritishIndia is a brand label under BTC Clothier Sdn Bhd and it has over 40 outlets across Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines. Inspired by the grand romance of the Colonial era, BritishIndia offers timeless clothing designs made from cotton, linen and silk fabrics that are created for comfort and effortless dressing for men and women who loves to travel. The large stores of BritishIndia sell soft furnishings and special furniture pieces.
Founded by Lim Xui Jhi in 2013, Empire Sushi Group Sdn Bhd sells premium quality and affordable sushi with localised preference such as Gunkan, Nigiri, premium Maki, Onigiri, Temaki, Oden and Bento made from moist vinegar rice, in-house sauce and daily-delivered fresh ingredients. Empire Sushi provides quick service kiosks all around Malaysia.
Medifeet HQ Sdn Bhd was established in 2014 and led by Samantha Peh. It is one of the leading medical health shoe brands in Malaysia with 34 branches throughout Malaysia. Medifeet creates beautiful cushioned comfortable shoes with therapeutic, medical, protective, corrective and supportive features built-in to fix foot problems such as bunions, flat feet, hammer toe, minor uneven leg lengths, badly deformed feet and even posture misalignment. Its shoes are divided into categories such as ready-made, custom-made and semi-custom-made. The custom-made shoes come solely from New Zealand.
Ben’s Independent Grocer
Founded by Benjamin Yong, Ben’s Independent Grocer Sdn Bhd (B.I.G.) was established to be a place for customers to shop and dine. With a total of 7 outlets, B.I.G. sells produce such as seasonal fruits and vegetables from local farms, barbeque needs such as ready-to-grill meats, seafood such as shelled seafood, prawns and fishes, over 200 certified organic grocery products such as natural juices and Malaysian spices, herbs and traditional goodies. B.I.G. also provides social cooking activities, demonstrations and hands-on-workshops for customers to learn new cooking skills and recipes.