When I first read the news that the French is closing down their Singapore operations, my heart ached. I am worried about the Malaysian operations :( I have friends there, it was my learning playground, memories were made, characters were built…I prayed to GOD that each one of them will be safe. I have played some of my best games there. I fought and gave it my all. It is a place that has inspired me. This also feels like the perfect place to retire – but my time is not with them. It’s been a great adventure :) Each day I feel as though I am discovering something new, and each day I am beginning to realize just how much there is to know. It’s all been worth it but I’m looking forward to the next part of my life. No official announcement yet but I hope that things are for the better. Now, its merely public speculation.
Perhaps, I worried too much. Maybe, nothing will happen at all. The French, I believed has been mis-managed at the highest level, they have too much debt, costs that are too high; particularly at its head office, wrong strategies were taken, did not adapt well to the changes of the economic climate and an inefficient organizational structure. The new CEO; Georges Plassat will have an uphill task as he have to reverse the errors of the previous regime especially on the Planet Stores. It has been compounded by previous mistakes in a difficult first two years under Lars Olofsson. I am sure it was a harsh education but since Mr. Plassat have did wonders before, make no mistake, I am sure the French will be healthier than when he took over. They will need to build & grow from within, change their culture, buy prudently & cleverly and never again to waste resources on store re-modeling, going up-market and unrealistic projects. They must have no fear of spending & competing with the very best by balancing sales & volume for Groceries and margin for Non-Food. Do not overpay unnecessary for site acquisition where the new store opening is unable to generate sustainable income in the long run. With that, they can and will generate the revenues to achieve that aim. Most important of all, the French must get back to their 'We Want To Win' mentality. That ambition drives every decision. It is the French way. The only thing that is constant is Change. Change We Need, Change We Must.