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Business

Business Expectations Survey

HDB conducts the Business Expectations Survey of HDB shopkeepers annually to find out about the sentiments of our shopkeepers. Shopkeepers are an important part of our estates, and have a direct impact on the community.

Survey findings by year

 

Year 2013

The satisfaction level among HDB shopkeepers in 2013 was comparable to the previous year. More shopkeepers also intended to continue with their present business in the next 5 years.

The satisfaction level among HDB shopkeepers in 2013 (60.8%) was comparable to 2012 and higher than the previous years’ (Figure A).

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The 2 main factors contributing to shopkeepers’ satisfaction with their current businesses were having an established business (54.6%) and high human traffic (23.9%). Having an established business/ customer base also topped the list in previous surveys in 2012 and 2011. This shows that HDB shopkeepers have been relying on serving an established resident customer base for long-term sustainability of their business.

Shopkeepers’ satisfaction levels varied across different trade types. Operators of restaurants/ fast food had the highest satisfaction levels, with 85.9% of them satisfied with their current businesses. This was followed by medical and dental clinics (80.5%), childcare/ education centres (68.3%), and supermarkets (64.6%). On the other hand, shops selling books/ stationery/ gifts (49.1%), pet shops/ vets (50.0%), and shops selling household products (50.4%) were among the least satisfied (Figure B). For shops selling books/ stationery/ gifts and pet shops/ vets, the common reasons cited were high rent and low human traffic. For household products, the limiting factors cited were stiff competition and low human traffic. In comparison to the trades surveyed in 2012, medical and dental clinics (89.5%), eating establishments (65.9%), and education/ childcare centres (65.2%) were the top 3 trades with the highest satisfaction levels.

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About 8 in 10 HDB shopkeepers (84.3%) indicated their intention to continue with their present business in the next 5 years (Figure C). This proportion was higher than that of 2012 (74.3%), which also signifies that shopkeepers’ business outlook has grown more positive.

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Year 2012

HDB shopkeepers expressed a higher level of satisfaction in 2012 as compared to the previous year. The overall business sentiment of shopkeepers in HDB towns has been improving over the years.

The Business Expectations Survey on HDB shopkeepers was conducted in 3rd Quarter 2012, covering a total of 2,659 shopkeepers in various HDB towns/ estates.

The satisfaction level among HDB shopkeepers in 2012 (62.8%) was higher than that of 2011 (54.2%). Looking at past surveys, the satisfaction level with current business among shopkeepers has generally been on an upward trend despite a drop in 2008 (Figure A).

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The 2 main factors contributing to shopkeepers’ satisfaction with their current businesses were having an established business/ customer base (56.2%) and good location of shops (26.0%). Having an established business/ customer base also topped the list in the previous survey in 2011. This shows that other than having a good location, shopkeepers can sustain their businesses if they are able to attract and retain customers by providing personalised goods and services.

Shopkeepers’ satisfaction levels varied across different trade types. Operators of medical and dental clinics had the highest satisfaction levels, with 89.5% of them satisfied with their current businesses. This was followed by eating establishments, education/ childcare centres, and cake shops/ confectioneries. On the other hand, those operating religious and geomancy services/ products (44.4%), furniture shops (50.9%), and optical shops (52.3%) were among the least satisfied (Figure B). For shops providing religious and geomancy services/ products, the common reasons cited were poor location and lack of demand, whereas shopkeepers of furniture shops were concerned about  poor locations and the weak economy. The limiting factors cited for optical shops were stiff competition and poor location.

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Close to half (48.1%) of HDB shopkeepers were proactive and had initiated various measures, such as giving discounts, ramping up publicity, and making an effort to improve their range of products and services. 86.8% of these shopkeepers saw an improvement in their businesses.

In addition, 74.3% HDB shopkeepers indicated their intention to continue with their present business in the next 5 years (Figure C).

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Year 2011

The satisfaction level among shopkeepers in HDB towns in 2011 was similar to 2010.

Introduction

The Business Expectations Survey on HDB shopkeepers was conducted in 3rd Quarter of 2011, covering a total of 2,702 HDB shopkeepers in various HDB towns/ estates. The survey found that the overall business sentiment had improved over the years in the HDB heartland.

Key findings

The satisfaction level among HDB shopkeepers in 2011 (54.2%) was similar to 2010 (54.7%). The proportion of shopkeepers who expressed satisfaction with their current business in these 2 years was higher than the 52% in 2009 and 43.5% in 2008 (Figure A).

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The shopkeepers’ satisfaction was partly due to having an established customer base (44.3%) and good location of shops (17.5%). A higher proportion of shopkeepers operating in mature towns were also satisfied with business. This could be because they had operated their business for a longer period of time, and had hence established their customer base. The majority of shopkeepers cited high operating costs and stiff competition as their main business challenges.

Shopkeepers’ satisfaction levels varied across different trade types. Operators of medical/ dental clinics had the highest satisfaction level, with 81.2% of them satisfied with their business. Those operating hardware/ renovation and interior design firms were also more satisfied (63.3%). On the other hand, those operating optical shops (38.8%), apparel and tailor shops (41.5%), and shops selling electrical/ electronic products (41.8%) were among the least satisfied. The most common factor behind their dissatisfaction was stiff competition (Figure B).

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Slightly more than half (51.7%) of HDB shopkeepers were proactive and had initiated various measures, such as giving discounts, ramping up publicity, and making an effort to improve their products and services. 81.6% of these shopkeepers had saw an improvement in their business.

81.6% of the shopkeepers expressed their intentions to continue with their present business in the next 5 years. The proportion of shopkeepers who intended to close down their business dropped from 15.4% in 2007 to 9.3% in 2011 (Figure C). Shopkeepers cited the following reasons for continuing with their present business:

  • The business was their main source of livelihood
  • The business had been in operation for many years
  • The business was still doing well and profitable

For the 9.3% of shopkeepers who would like to quit, the top 2 reasons were the lack of improvement in business/ poor prospects/ being in the sunset industry and the intention to retire due to old age/ health problems.

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In terms of trade types, medical/ dental clinics were more likely to continue with their business. Operators of retail trade, such as fashion and apparel were least likely to continue with their business as they did not expect their prospects to improve (Figure D).

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