Happy Birthday Negara Ku :)
Friday, August 31, 2012
Carrefour pull out of Singapore.
Carrefour said on Tuesday that it was pulling out of Singapore with the closure of its two existing outlets in the city-state by the end of this year. The French retail giant was the first to introduce the hypermarket concept in Singapore with the opening of its first store in 1997. But Carrefour has found it tough to penetrate Singapore's market of 5.2 million people largely because other rivals are better entrenched with a wider network of branches, many of them strategically located within or near high-density residential districts. Carrefour's stores are located in the city-state's main shopping and business district. "Carrefour Singapore announces the decision to close its Suntec and Plaza Singapura stores before end of 2012, since expansion and growth perspectives do not allow reaching a leadership position in the medium and long term", the retailer said in a statement. It gave no other details, but a senior executive with an Asian electronics company that supplies appliances to Carrefour said the decision to withdraw from Singapore came as no surprise. "There was a lot of talk (of closing) from the internal staff and they have been clearing stock for the last two months", the executive, who declined to be named, told AFP. "They were just not competitive enough".
Carrefour, the world's second biggest retailer behind US group Walmart, reported in March that its 2011 profit dropped by 14.3 percent to 371 million euros ($463 million) amid weaker economic conditions. Song Seng Wun, a regional economist with Malaysian bank CIMB, said high operating costs, including rentals, could have contributed to Carrefour's decision. "The bottomline is Singapore is not the biggest market (in Asia) and it's very competitive. It's not the cheapest place to do business in as well", Song told AFP. He said Carrefour's rivals seem to have a better feel of the market, locating their stores in densely populated residential districts, where rents are also cheaper. "These guys (rival retailers) are much better in reading the local market...Carrefour is right smack in the city area where the rents are far higher than everywhere else", Song said. Carrefour in 2010 sold its outlets in Thailand to a rival. It has operations in China and India, among other places in Asia. But the company said in July it has put on hold its expansion plan for wholesale stores in India due to the global downturn.
To receive such news is sad indeed :( What will be Malaysia's fate then?
Posted by yingze at 4:11 PM
Monday, August 27, 2012
Sunday, August 26, 2012
Steamboat Dinner – with Ling Ling; an ex-colleague from the French. I remembered that we didn’t get along well initially when I joined the company in 2008 because I find her to be too blunt, harsh to the max and didn’t know when is the occasion to be confrontational or non-direct. But her intentions were pure, her actions were for the good of the company. It never was about the individual or the people, it was always on the work itself. She made such a strong and positive impression on me that I remember thinking at that time – you know what, we don’t really have to give a damn to what other people thinks or perceive about us as long as we are doing what is right. There is no black or white, only grey areas. Every decisions and actions have it's own consequences; both positive & negative, just choose one that is favorable and manage it :) We talked a lot last night; of course the issues were regarding the current situation of the French, her current dilemma where her Director would like to replace her, Juan Carlos is being investigated for overbuying, the out of stock issues, the overstock problems, the in-coming containers and many more. We also share many stories about our current going-on’s. Old stories, beautiful stories, sentimental stories, things that make us laugh, things that make us marvel, things that remind us of our favorite places…oh, the list just goes on. She is so expressive that I feel enlightened & rejuvenated by just talking to her.
'It is perfect to be imperfect because perfection is made up of many imperfections put together that makes it perfect' - Yasmin Ahmad.
'It is perfect to be imperfect because perfection is made up of many imperfections put together that makes it perfect' - Yasmin Ahmad.
Esquire Kitchen – dinner with Eloise and Guillermo on Friday night :) The reason for the meet-up was for Eloise to hand us her Wedding Invitation Card. Eloise is getting married in September. Unfortunately, Boss & Joachim cannot make it for the dinner. I really would have love to see all of them again. Even though before this, we rarely meet-up; only occasionally via FaceBook or SMS, surprisingly, we can still pick up from where we have left. And yes, I agree with them that we have to do this more often. I’m left with a happy glow after listening & chatting-up with them. My friends. Always there when I need a bit of girly chatter, long superficial conversations about anything & everything, and loads of female insights :)
Posted by yingze at 9:07 PM
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Trenz, PJ Hilton – Baby Sis bought these Groupon Vouchers and we went there together with Mom for some good massage :) There was much stretching, pressing and pushing and cracking! :) But every single time, I am left with the most relaxed shoulders and legs. The massages were sooo good. I felt all of the knots accumulated in my shoulders faded away just like that. The Hot Stone Massage - its even better, my entire body feels soooooooooooo good :) Hot to the skin but so refreshing :)
Posted by yingze at 9:28 PM
Malay Mail Walk-A-Hunt, Tropicana City Mall – participated in a Treasure Hunt with James. It was something similar that I have participated before with Celtic, Snow Petrol & Singrid. But, that was a treasure hunt drive from KL to Malacca. This takes place in a community mall. Even though, we didn’t win, but we have lots of fun :) The hunt lasted for 1 hour and 45 minutes where we have to answer 20 questions and are require to buy 2 treasures. As we are pretty out of shape, it was quite a challenge to interpret the Anagrams, Definitions, Sounds Like, Initials, Look Backs and Hidden Clues. But the event organizer Time Out Solutions; I have to say that the team did a great job in hosting the event - not too large a group, free entry, everyone was well-behave, everyone enjoys hunting down for the answers, very community-feel, good cash money & hamper prizes, there were cute moments, inspirational moments…everyone really enjoyed themselves & bond with one another that afternoon. Awesome :)
Came back from the Southern Stores visit; covering a total of 9 stores which comprises of Kulai IOI, Nusa Bestari, Tampoi, Plentong, Skudai, Southern City, Ulu Tiram, Leisure Mall and Pulai Utama. For this second time around, even though there were a few surprises, but I am no longer surprise because I’m already numb to a certain extent and is already well aware and well prepare of what are to be expected :) We exchanged many good feedbacks with the store people, they do have the strong inputs to further strengthen the department and I will implement those one by one.
Nonetheless, the annoying part of the trip is when Alice keeps on reminding everyone about the past and bringing out Jonas name frequently. Some things just can’t be avoided. Yeah, Alice is a close lunch buddy of Jonas. I can only chuckle along the way. This really doesn’t help me to settle down well but I am determined to. I don’t deny that Leonardo has lost a world-class Stationery Buyer and that Jonas is difficult to be replaced. Jonas has showed everyone all of the good qualities of an excellent buyer. Jonas was outstanding in many ways. It’s clear that Jonas is a great player and obviously Leonardo would all have preferred it if Jonas has stayed put. But of course Juan Carlos bought Jonas at that mature age as that quality is not easy to find on the market. Last year was wonderful here for Jonas but before that I am sure Jonas too, took some time to settle down as well. Just like me, I have a good run in 2011, but throughout 2008 to 2010, I took the time to learn, to establish myself. I am just asking that Leonardo & the people to be a little patient with me. I am not here to make people forget about Jonas because Jonas has made beautiful things here, sort of like a mini-legend but I just want to bring something new on the table. However I am under no more pressure than that because if I think about that when I go onto the attacking mode, I will then play with the handbrakes on. I know that G13 is a great company and needs a Buyer who is ready & efficient quickly. I need exposures to get my confidence up and it is up to me to succeed. G13 and the people it’s a completely different atmosphere compare to the French and certainly the pressure is also going to be different as well. I know that I may lack something in the sharpness, the quality, the accuracy areas but I am not going to give up yet :) A promise to myself. I know that I am strong. I am happier, livelier and more grateful than ever before.
"It’s never too late to be what you might have been" - George Eliot
Posted by yingze at 9:08 PM
Monday, August 20, 2012
It was Liverpool’s first match under their new coach Brendan Rodgers…and they lost 3 – 0 to West Brom :( I know…it’s an uphill task to build back the team. We can't turn around a team in a speedboat's speed. My realistic expectations are for the club to be in the Top 4 this season, to qualify for the Champions League and to do well in their home win. It takes time.
I think I am in a very similar position as Rodgers himself. Rodgers is managing a football club while I’m in the corporate world. Both of us are starting out in a new place with such a strong & rich history, to re-adapt & re-learn in a new environment, to managing new people, to building back the business by going back to the basics, consolidating & capitalizing on the strengths of others, eliminating unprofitable assets & liabilities. The both of us have our first games and this race is going to be a very long marathon. This week is already my second month with G13. When I encounter setbacks, struggles & frustrations – days like that hurts and I know that there will be other days like this as well. There could be plenty of more bumps in the long road ahead. I have heard a lot about being patience but I know that at the end of the day, I have got to win games as well. I also do know that I will be in a lot of pain as I chased my dream of winning the Gold. Learning to lose gracefully also takes time :)
Nonetheless, I thank GOD for all of the goodness and blessings in my life :)
"You think this is just another day in your life. It’s not just another day. It’s the one day that is given to you, today. It’s a gift, it's the only gift that you have right now and the only appropriate response is gratefulness. If you do nothing else but cultivate that response to the great gift that this unique day is, if you learn to respond as if it were the first day in your life and the very last day, then you will have spent this day very well. So I wish you that you would open your heart to all these blessings and let them flow through you. That everyone whom you will meet on this day will be blessed by you. Just by your eyes. By your smile. By your touch. Just by your presence. Let the gratefulness overflow into blessing all around you. Then it will really be a good day" - UnKnown
OVERTIME – it was a great Friday’s night out with Stewart, Celtic, James, Tyan, Victoria & Stephanie :) Being in the company of these fellow adults, sharing experiences, swapping stories – absolutely a good therapy for me. We have beers & bar food (fish & chips). There were laughter, happiness and the sounds of clinking glasses. Everyone was talking. Eating. Chilling out. Nothing. The best thing ever :)
We still get along well despite the fact that Celtic & myself have moved on to join their competitors. To me, these are the good people cum office buddies that are always there for me when I needed them; during my good times & some bad times. They laugh with me. IN GOOD TIMES. And then during my bad weather days, they will stand there with advice and allowing you to vent out your frustrations. The toughest stages in my career life with the French was when I first started out with them in 2008, during the new stores opening, during the old stores revamping process, those challenging closing & numbers issues period – I am very thankful to have them; especially to both Stewart & Celtic. They taught me humility. They taught me that no matter how high an education that I had and how well I was doing in my work then, I still have a lot to learn about being an entrepreneur, managing the business & people and behaving business & age-wise appropriately :) They taught me patience. I don’t mean patience with emo attitudes and rude comebacks. I meant patience for everyone; including myself to grow up, to try new things, to experiment and to challenge myself continuously so I won’t be too comfortable in my own comfort zone phase. They taught me kindness. I learnt to be a good team player, being good to the people around me and always be there for them no matter what. No matter if they were kind or mean. Rude or sweet. Considerate or thoughtless. They taught me sacrifice. I learnt to push aside all of the things that I wanted to do, in exchange for all the things that we could do together as a team and to look at the business in a bigger picture. They taught me determination. I learnt to believe that I can do anything when I have set my mind on it. And I can. And I did. They taught me pride. To do so well in Leisureware during my 2008 tenure & managing the Furniture portfolio in 2010 – it was such an achievement. What did I say? 2011 has been an epic year for me! :) I did have the potential to be a good Division Manager and I did. I think I have my time during 2011. Now, is to bring back that touch into G13 :)
These are the things that will bring tears to my eyes. I know that when I sit down and think about the struggles that I’ve been through over the seasons, these memories - it will be emotional. Sometimes it takes some shit to happen for us to realize who truly cares. And to those, I am really grateful. To the others, I won’t be putting my eggs in that basket anymore :)
Posted by yingze at 10:08 PM
Sunday, August 12, 2012
Liverpool's first Europa League Game. The Reds beat FC Gomel of Belarus 3 - 0 :)
Luis Suarez was the key player; creating first half goals for Fabio Borini and skipper Steven Gerrard. Glen Johnson added another after half time. It was a positive way for Brendan Rodgers to mark his first home game in charge.
Posted by yingze at 10:42 AM
Saturday, August 04, 2012
Work Tales – I have come to this conclusion. That everywhere is the same, we will face the same sets of problems, encounter the same sets of issues, going through the same sets of obstacles, experience the same sets of challenges…the only difference is where or which situation is more severe or less severe to be in :)
I am also very surprised (and totally unexpected) that this year I will have to re-start my career twice. The first was during the 1st January of this year, I was promoted as D33 Division Manager. Doing Leisureware (Bicyle, Camping, Sports & Nautism) was ok for me because I used to do them in 2008. But I never did Toys & Luggage before. Then half-way through the year, I moved to G13 and am now currently doing Stationery. This is also one of the reasons why I was hesitating to move on. I know that it will be mentally tiring for me, I have to move out from my comfort zone again, I have to try new systems & processes, I have to be more adventurous, no more routine work for a while, no more predictable things all the time. Yet, I want to explore new things and have new experiences but it was hard for me to let go. I was fighting, arguing, negotiating, struggling internally. There was this mixture of sheer excitement & anxiety, the lack of sleep and the serious commitments ahead. Another reason was that I know that I will always be compare to Jonas who has 8 years of experience on the job. That is why I am always managing Leonardo’s expectations of me :) I am as busy as ever but I know that my life isn’t bad; it’s just my day that is. Starting all over again in a new place was a huge wrench for me, I was plagued with self-doubt but thank GOD that I’m doing fine at the moment :) Thank You GOD, Praise To The LORD, Bless You GOD.
Posted by yingze at 10:58 PM
I have finished watching Season 6 of House :) The cases, the diagnostics, the solutions – they are just as good and interesting as the earlier seasons. I love the characters development this time around. Mature, a more energized feel to it. I think Wilson have stepped up a lot more & played a very pivotal role in Season 6 in helping House to get back his life on the right track. Basically, baby-sitting House :) He is such a good friend to have around; caring, understanding, helpful, tolerant, simple & always being taken advantage by House. On the other hand, I feel that Foreman’s character is more withdrawn; it’s like he doesn’t want to be a part of House’s team but he have no choice because House’s team is the best team…the dream team of the hospital. Where as, Chase & Cameron looks confident as ever; too bad they are breaking off their marriage and Cameron eventually left. But no worries, there is the beautiful ‘13’ portrayed splendidly by the gorgeous Olivia Wilde. Of course the main dish of the show – House & Cuddy. Cuddy is dating Lucas, and House…well, I think he have mellow down a little bit but at the same time I felt that he didn’t want to show the nice side of him to everyone because everyone will thinks that this is not House and he is not that good anymore. But I think the overall House’s character has become more tolerant a little and is willing to play nice :)
Posted by yingze at 10:43 PM
Baby Sis calls them our ‘Childhood Biscuits’ :) She offered me some when a friend of hers gave it to her. And indeed, it brought back lots of fond memories where during that generation of mine, parents everywhere will bring their kids to their local Pasar Malam to buy this biscuits. It’s colorful, sweet & salty at the same time and it’s so pretty to look at. Pure joy. Small things like this are what make life so great :) And I must keep on reminding myself that.
Posted by yingze at 10:29 PM