iKANnFish of YVLL Group claims to operate Malaysia’s first fish specialty concept store. Ikan means fish in Malay. The company supplies live freshwater fish directly from its own-managed farms in Malaysia to its network of seven outlets in the Klang Valley, an area including Kuala Lumpur and Klang, and Putrajaya.
It is a unique farm-to-fork concept where the company has control of every stages of the process from fish breeding, selection to selling to consumers. The live freshwater fish is stored in the blue plastic aquarium. Consumers can pick and choose the fish they want and have it cleaned free of charge. The fish includes red pearl, haruan (snakehead murrel), jelawat (Hoven’s carp), catfish and Australian jade perch.
The farm-to-fork concept encourages one to “know thy farmer.” The concept not only reassures consumers on the quality but also gives them more value for their money. The lower price is achieved through direct sourcing without going through the middlemen.
In China, supermarkets are adopting the 农超对接 model or “farmer-supermarket direct sourcing.” Tesco China sourced 80% of its fresh produce from local farms. In Malaysia, supermarkets are doing the same thing by buying directly from farms.
NSK Trade City, which runs a network of wholesale centres in Malaysia, is reputed to have its own vegetable farms to supply its stores. By running its own farms, NSK is able to supply fresh vegetables at a cheaper price and this makes it a place for destination shopping for price-sensitive shoppers. Direct sourcing from own farms to keep prices down is an ingredient for success for NSK and iKANnFish.This may serve as an inspiration for other retailers at a time when consumers are complaining about the rising cost of living.