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When push comes to shove, needs become key.

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Where do you shop these days under the Movement Control Order (MCO)? All the places are shop are within 2.5km from my home. None are the huge hypermarkets. They are the smaller convenience stores with enough variety of things but lacking the diversity of brands. If my wife asked me to buy sweet corn in cream (she usually tells me the brand too), I will buy the only brand available in the store and no longer needed to look through the 7-8 different brands to pick one.

If my wife asked me to buy a pack of sausages (with her favourite brand), I will usually have 2 different brand choices and I choose one. During the days before MCO, there may be 15-20 brands for me to choose. This is the point. Now, we buy because we NEED. Consumption of goods usually come back to what we really need when push comes to shove. We will talk about property at the conclusion of this article yeah. 😛 Coming back to what I bought.

I bought these groceries online the other day. These groceries were for my baking needs. I have since baked egg tarts, butter cake and even a kuih called Put Chai Kou (my wife and daughter’s favourite). Why don’t I buy them in the nearby convenience stores then? Frankly, I really hate to be in the convenience store for an hour trying to look for everything in a list of 30 items. Just give me a list of 10 items, I finish the shopping in 15 minutes and be home in 20 minutes. I only go to the grocery store for essential items like chicken, vegetables and fruits. How long did these items take to arrive? Well, it arrived on day 4! This is quite amazing because the shop is in Langkap, Perak. (small town in Perak).

Will I continue to buy from this shop after the MCO? Let’s just say that this exposure meant that this little shop in a little town has just become another place I could buy from. By the way, it’s not just me because right after my order was completed, the very next day when I looked back at the shop, nearly 80% of all items were SOLD OUT. Haha. Yeah, you guessed the answer. Many Malaysians were doing the same thing as me, shopping online and found the same shop too. Imagine trying to sell 20 packets of corn starch powder in one week to a little town and now with the power of online, you sold the whole stock of 30 packs all in a few days.

So, how are you buying your groceries? Do share your experience yeah. (If you like to know how I stock up 10-days of fresh fish supply, read here). There was also an article in themalaysianreserve.com on how some of the smaller convenience stores are thriving during the MCO. (read it here) The few names it mentioned included KK Supermart and 99 Speedmart. Yeah, I have shopped in both of these too during MCO as both are conveniently located just outside my home.

By the way, it is the same in the property world too. NEED may soon take over. When prices kept going up way faster than the salary, very soon, the salary will take over the decision and this DEMAND will now force the developers to build something which the people could buy. This is how SUPPLY changes. People still want to buy because they definitely need a roof over their head but if prices do not change, then no buying happens.

For the supply to happen at the same price, that choice of location will now be limited to places where land is cheaper (usually further), it will also be limited to a ceiling height of 9.5 feet versus 10.5 feet (quality). A saving of 1 feet per floor means every 10 floors, the developer could build one additional floor. This meant a lower price. This is why when it is needed, then NEED will change the demand and force the supply to change too. I know, there are a lot more other circumstances and variables but as long as you understand the idea. Happy shopping around yeah.

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