KUCHING, Jan 18 ― Malaysians have been asked to support local retailers as well as food and beverage (F&B) outlets by dining in and buying directly from the stores instead of using delivery platforms to ease the cost of living.

According to Small and Medium Enterprises Association of Malaysia (Samenta) president Datuk William Ng, doing would help bring costs down for the merchants, which in turn would result in consumers paying lower prices.

“We are concerned that with the revision of fees paid by major food and goods delivery platforms to their riders, local retailers and F&B outlets may soon have to pay higher commission to the same platforms.

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“Following news that Grab may be acquiring Foodpanda, what is already effectively a duopoly may become an all-powerful monopoly ― to the potential detriment of consumers and merchants,” he said in a statement.

At present, Ng said merchants are being charged up to 32 per cent commission on every delivery.

With ‘promotions’ and ‘marketing fees’ included, he said such commissions could be as high as 60 per cent of every sale.

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As such, a nasi lemak seller may only receive RM1.20 for a packet of RM3 nasi lemak, he pointed out.

“Due to the monopolistic nature of the platforms, retailers and F&B operators as well as consumers have very little choice but to pay whatever is demanded by the platform owners.

“This is why most merchants have no choice but to mark up the selling price of food and goods on these platforms by between 30 and 100 per cent to compensate for the commission paid to the platforms ― in order for such orders to remain marginally profitable,” Ng explained.

To break this vicious circle, the business leader appealed to Malaysians to support their local retailers and F&B operators by dining in and buying direct.

On top of that, he said buying directly would provide a higher assurance of better customer service if a product turned out to be defective, while supporting the domestic economy and the ringgit.

“Buy Malaysian, buy direct,” Ng added. ― Borneo Post