How to Setup a Retail Store in Malaysia With ARI RMS

You want to enter the Malaysian retail industry with a bang, right?

Let us take you step by step so that you can easily set up a retail store in Malaysia for success.

(Pay attention, this is the one-stop guide that is valuable for laying the foundations right.)

Let’s get started!

Easy-to-Follow Steps for Setting Up a Retail Store in Malaysia

1) Avidly Research Your Target Market

CAUTION! Don’t assume.

If this is your first dip into the realm of market research…

Remember – that making assumptions about who could buy your goods or services for your retail store in Malaysia will lead you to be misguided.

It’s important to know that some business owners of Retail Companies in Malaysia choose to employ a market research agency or consultant.

However, if you want to wear the hat of the researcher yourself, then great, go for it!

Retail Store in Malaysia


We recommend that you start your study with secondary research resources such as industry reports, trends and case studies.

You’ll learn more about how you’d want to do your longer, more expensive primary research if you start with this established data that someone else has collected.

Some Market Research Tools for Your Retail Store in Malaysia:

1) Nielsen:

Nielsen has consumer behavior research reports and studies from over 100 countries.

2) Pew Research Center:

The Pew Research Center also undertakes scientific research, much of which sheds light on consumer behavior and trends.

3) D&B Hoovers:

D&B, a business that has been examined over 85 million organizations, 100 million persons, and 1,000 industries, sells reports. Consumer behavior, competition analysis, and industry trends will all be covered.


Similar to D&B, they sell a plethora of independently produced research and analysis studies. You can start by reviewing their list of consumer product reports.

Secondly, get down in the trenches and do in-depth research on the industry for your retail store in Malaysia.

For Extensive Primary Research, You Can Use the Following Methods:

1) Customer Surveys:

  • You can understand your target market and its competition by asking the right questions in your survey, but you can also get feedback on your product.
  • There are several free programs available to assist you to perform consumer surveys, such as Google Forms and SurveyMonkey.

2) Extensive Customer Interviews:

  • Customer interviews are one-on-one conversations with customers. You can hold video chats with consumers or meet them in person or over the phone. You can use Malaysian POS System to understand customers’ data and ask the right interview questions.

3) Customer Reviews:

  • Analyzing competitor reviews can reveal what consumers like and hate about them the most, what they frequently complain about, and how those shops manage unfavorable evaluations.
  • Furthermore, the information you gain here can direct your product development and provide suggestions for improving the client experience.

4) Contextual Investigations:

  • Contextual inquiry is a user research approach that involves seeing and interviewing individuals while they complete activities in their natural environment.

5) Investigative/Mystery Shopping:

  • Another effective market research technique is to deploy undercover researchers disguised as consumers to your or your competitors’ businesses to analyze store operations and customer experience.

2) Build a Business Plan

Every successful retail business has a solid retail business plan standing strong as its backbone.

It’s one of the first questions many investors and sponsors have when they ask about your company. There are many Retail Integrations that can help you with this.


This is because a business plan outlines your company’s short- and long-term objectives, as well as the processes and financial needs required to achieve those objectives.

What Should You Include in the Business Plan?

  • Provide a brief description of your firm.
  • Incorporate data from the target market and industry analyses.
  • Describe your items/ services.
  • Address operational requirements (Supply Chain, Merchandising, Technology)
  • Make a structure for your organization (sole proprietor, general partnership, limited partnership, LLC, or corporation)
  • Examine marketing (online and offline promotion channels, positioning)
  • Make a financial strategy (your startup costs, funding options, break-even points, projected profit, and loss, etc.)

3) Choose Locations Wisely

Retail Store in Malaysia

For your retail store in Malaysia, you’re probably confused about which is better, a storefront inside a mall or one outdoors in a commercial area.

Let’s discuss it!

Advantages of Mall Culture in Malaysia

Without a question, Malaysia has a vibrant culture of shopping malls, whether used for everyday needs or as gathering places.

The exciting benefits of opening a store in a mall are as follows:

  • You can expect a lot of customers to come to your store.
  • There is plenty of parking.
  • Shopping centers also see a consistent influx of tourists from the neighboring nations, including Singapore and Thailand, as well as from outside, particularly the significant China market.
  • So, for lifestyle retailers like fashion boutiques, beauty items, and luxury watches, this factor could be advantageous.

Establishing Independent Stores Outside of Malls:

Small, independent businesses benefit the neighborhood and typically provide customers with better value for their money. Taking the help of Inventory Management Software helps you understand the data better.

Also, you can benefit from neighboring services such as banks, fast-food restaurants, or launderettes to capitalize on passing traffic.

For your Malaysia retail store consider these:

  • Can people find or notice your store from the street?
  • Are there convenient entry points to main highways, traffic signals, and turns that make it simple for customers to find your store?
  • Are there any local public transit options for people who can’t drive themselves to your business?

Opening Retail Shop Near Your Competitors

It is commonly seen that if the first shop is established in a certain place and is successful, that location is now seen as ideal for such a business.

Competitors will then swarm that region in an attempt to capture the consumer base.

Nonetheless, there are regions where companies collaborate to disperse their stores so that they do not compete directly with one another.

You can also benefit from similar shops that do not directly compete with you, especially if they are larger stores with high traffic.


Get information on local consumers and insights into their purchasing behavior by contacting your local chamber of commerce, trade groups, or governmental organizations like the Malaysian Retail Chain Association (MCRA).

You can contact the merchant organizations listed on SME Corp Malaysia’s website for each state in Malaysia.

4) Use the Right Technology


Malaysian buyers have higher expectations for tech-enabled retail experiences than the global average, according to the Adyen Malaysia Retail Report 2022.

According to the findings of the survey, 87% of Malaysian consumers are more likely to buy from shops that use technology to improve the customer experience, compared to 55% of customers globally, 64% in Asia-Pacific, and 74% in Singapore.

So, it goes without saying that Malaysians place a high value on technologically improved retail purchase experiences.

Can you make your Malaysian customers super satisfied too?

Absolutely yes! and Ari’s POS system for retail in Malaysia is the go-to place for their retail therapy.

  • Manage all of your orders, sales, and payments from one location.
  • Control your operations and store inventory precisely.
  • Use a built-in promotions template to boost sales.
  • Monitor and keep an eye on the success of your store using thorough analytics.

Try the Ari Retail POS software especially designed and developed for the specific requirements of retailers in Malaysia

5) Figure Out Branding & Communications

ALERT! Retailers are no longer just product distributors.

You, the retailer in Malaysia are the lifestyle partner and entity with whom customers form bonds based on great experiences.

Branding goes beyond just having a brand identity. You must bring that identity to the shopping experience in your Malaysian retail stores.

Your brand identity (which you intend your brand to be) must be in alignment with the brand image (how your customers perceive your brand).

When there are gaps… the more complicated your business gets.

Carefully choose communications and designs to bridge the gaps.

Tool To Use: Kapferer’s simple framework to map your brand identity across 6 dimensions:

Retail Store in Malaysia

6) Register Your Business

The Malaysian Business Registration Procedure:

Establishing a retail business in Malaysia is only possible if you register your company with the Companies Commission Malaysia (SSM).

To be considered a legal entity in Malaysia, all businesses must be registered with the SSM. If you do not register, you risk operating unlawfully in the country.

A minimum of two local directors who are at least 18 years old are also required for company registration in Malaysia.

The Permissions and Licenses You Need:

You should consider two types of permits for your retail operations.

There are two kinds of business licenses: general business licenses and licenses for certain industries.

Local town councils are a source for general licenses. While on the other hand government departments issue permits for certain industries.

Set up For Success with Us!

Let’s join hands together to make your retail store in Malaysia a huge success in the Malaysian retail industry.

You can have a 1:1 consultation with our retail software experts of the Retail POS Software (absolutely free) and get all of your business issues addressed with effective solutions.

Don’t Wait! Book your Slot Now.

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