When you’ve been in the business for years, it’s not easy to stay relevant and keep up with all the trends nowadays. Other establishments continue to grow and expand which leaves very little room for new companies to reach success and for older companies to compete. However, we still have to give props to one of our retail brands in Malaysia, Giant for still sticking with us.
Giant has existed for so long that it’s usually one of the first places we’d think of when it’s time to go shopping for groceries. If you’ve ever been interested to know how Giant came to be like its competitor, then strap yourselves down cause we’re going to share another origin story.
Before Giant became the hypermarket we all know and love today, it was just a small grocery store in Sentul, Kuala Lumpur, founded by the Teng family in 1944. It was then known as Teng’s Mini Market. The brand’s mission is to offer a variety of products at the lowest possible prices, as the owners’ reputation grew, so did the company. Giant then expanded and opened up another retail shop in Lorong Karau sometime in the 1960s, the same location the owners opened the brand’s headquarters later in 1974.
It started to expand with the opening of the Teng Mini market Centre in Bangsar in the same year. The first ever Giant supermarket was opened in 1982 in Kelana Jaya. The Teng Family didn’t achieve success with the retail brand without some help though. In 1999, the company was bought by Dairy Farm; a Hong Kong retail company with its legal base in Bermuda. The retail group recognised the brand’s key to success is its ability to continuously offer good value products at such affordable prices.
Even when Giant started to become a household name and global brand, it continued to uphold this fundamental principle. Giant’s success really started to take off after Dairy Farm acquired the brand. After 6 years of hard work in designing its stores, introducing non-food products in Giant supermarkets, and implementing international retail standards that include safety, hygiene, and structured training, Dairy Farm managed to turn Giant into one of the leading Malaysian retailers.
In 1995, the brand finally opened its first Giant Hypermarket in USJ, Subang Jaya, and possibly one of its most iconic ones in 1999 in Shah Alam, Selangor. For those living in Shah Alam, it’s easy to notice the hypermarket especially when you’re waiting at the (in)famous traffic light junction. Despite it being just your ordinary hypermarket, many have made wonderful memories of shopping with their family and friends there.
In 2000, it was time to take the company to new heights. Giant opened its first hypermarket in Singapore at International Merchandising Mart Mall (IMM) Jurong and Dairy Farm gained a 10% stake in Giant TMC Berhad. By 2003, Dairy Farm rebranded itself to Dairy Farm Giant Retail Sdn. Bhd after establishing 8 Giant hypermarkets across Malaysia. Giant continued to grow every few years and after continuos hard work and dedication, the brand was operating over 128 stores across the region by 2013.
Fast forward to 2022, and just like its competitors, Giant is now synonymous with good quality items at affordable prices. Of course, the road to success always comes with its set of challenges and setbacks. For instance, there was a time when it was rumoured that Giant was heading for bankruptcy but one netizen pointed out that it was highly unlikely as the brand was just simply rebranding itself.
After 77 years in the business, Giant has certainly left an impact on the Malaysian grocery business. Despite there being many supermarkets and hypermarkets around the country, one can’t simply imagine a world without Giant.