Small-Scale Retailers in an Island Town

  •  Sivapalan Selvadurai    
  •  A. C. Er    
  •  N. Lyndon    
  •  A. Buang    
  •  M. J. Mohd. Fuad    
  •  A. Habibah    
  •  J. Hamzah    
  •  A. M. Azima    
  •  A. B. Junaidi    
  •  Mohd Yusof Hussein    


This paper examines the competition faced by small-scale general store and textile retailing in an island town in Malaysia. The study was carried out in Labuan Town in Labuan Island of East Malaysia. A qualitative research design was utilized, involving primarily interview data which were collected from 12 in-depth interviews with 6 sundry and general store retailers and 6 textile retailers. Content analysis was executed to analyse the narrative data. The findings reveal that large store retailing negatively impact the small traders on trade diversion, but also positively modernize their retail formats. Competition was intense for the town centre small-scale retailers who were facing multiple competitions from large retailers and bazaar retailers in the town centre, small-scale retailers from the rural areas, as well as place competition in the region. The study suggests the need for creative response of the local authority in place making and balanced development, coupled with the strategic response of small-scale retailers in cultivating local enterprise.

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