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Chan Furniture (M) Sdn Bhd cerebrate 25 years of success
Posted On Site : Wednesday October 19, 2011 01:56:25 PM
Chan Furniture (M) Sdn Bhd (Chan Furniture), a leading furniture maker and dealer in Sabah, grew from a small rattan furniture maker in Petagas in 1986 into a retail giant with 49 outlets that deals in not only a wide range of furniture products but also household electrical appliances nationwide.

The group, which has more than 1,500 employees and is believed to be the first furniture dealer to offer installment payment plans, now expects a turnover of more than RM200 million this year.

Despite the company’s phenomenal success, the man behind Chan Furniture, Chan Soo Teck remains a modest, humble and down-to-earth person. The founder and managing director, who is described by employees as an easy going person with an amiable personality, shows remarkable business acumen despite not having completed high school education.

Chan left his hometown in Johor with his brothers Chan Yen Soon and Chan Soon Chai and neighbour Chai Soon Fatt in 1985 for Sabah to set up a small rattan furniture factory in Petagas with less than RM10,000. Chai is now the general manager.

The factory started off with no more than 10 workers, including the Chan siblings, but it produced up to 30 rattan sofa daily.

“I decided to start a rattan furniture business because most of the young people in my kampung (village) learned how to make handicrafts,” Chan said.

He said he learned to make rattan furniture at the age of 18 and mastered the skills after being an apprentice for four years.

Chan’s rattan furniture factory moved to Penampang three months later until 1991. The company opened its first showroom in Karamunsing known as Chan Rottan Furniture in 1987 at the existing Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB) building. A year later, the showroom moved to the basement level of Karamunsing Complex.

To help boost sales, the company launched its installment plan in 1988, which enabled customers to pay in two or three installments.

The installment plan, which has since been extended to 13 months and become an integral part of Chan Furniture, was inspired by Pakistani vendors who were selling their products from door to door.

Currently, Chan Furniture has 49 active branches nationwide, including 14 in Sabah.

“By the end of this year we will add four more Chan Furniture outlets in Malacca,” Chan said.

Chan said Chan Furniture products are priced competitively and affordable due to volume advantage. Meanwhile, the company will be celebrating its 25th anniversary at Promenade Hotel this October 19.
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