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Main Topic:

Hosts: Stephen Huang , James Stanworth, Clyde Warden

Guest: Jane Lu, Ph.D.

Before hypermarkets, there were supermarkets (although they may not look very super compared to their UK and US brethren). Commonly called groceries in the West, and in Chinese called supermarkets. The small scale corner supermarkets are going strong in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and China, with even Walmart buying into these smaller chains (Trust-Mart). In this show, Jane Lu helps us understand the advantages these small scale stores offer to consumers, and why they continue to do well.

This topic has an accompanying research show (show 16) for marketing researchers. Stephen, James, and Clyde talk in more detail about the values these different supermarkets address and how that relates to different market segments. To view the supplement and other research related shows, register and/or sign in.

The smaller of these stores are just marginally larger than a convenience store (normally 25-40 ping). Wellcomes and Chen Lien tend to be the smallest at around 90 ping with Sinon and Capita'ns much larger (approx. 300 ping).

Japanese Kit Kat
Japanese Kit Kat at Capita'n

SINON (興農股份有限公司) Interestingly, their local URL is (over 38 outlets), and here is their English Website . A local chain owned by Wei Chuan Food Corp . This supermarket often caters to local rituals and has a long, well developed channel relationship with agricultural suppliers (meaning better fresh produce).

YuMaoWu (裕毛屋‹) now Capita'n (凱福登) from Japan, represents the very high end of the supermarket segment. Walking in is like visiting Japan. The Kit Kat photo is a good example, not only can you get flavors of Kit Kat only found in Japan, the packaging is just the same as that complex and cute packaging found in Japan.

Wellcome 頂好惠康 (Wellcome Hong Kong ), Taiwan's largest supermarket chain, from Hong Kong, owned by Dairy Farm International Holdings Ltd. (over 165 outlets).

Matusei (丸久超市‚), with over 30 outlets, emphasizes their Japanese background, although the store is very localized now. You won't find much in the way of Capita'n's Japanese products, but there is some of the same design element and service.

Left over from an earlier era, but still going strong is the military camp store Pxmart (Chen Lian) 全聯福利中心 ƒ(note the URL is with PX, which means Post Exchange as in military camp store). Incorporated in 1974, now with over 208 stores and revenue passing 15 million USD. The market segment is daily household supplies and food stuff (packaged), which translates into a very similar demographic to wet market shoppers.

The corner supermarkets are situated in locations that are familiar to the locals.

The Show:

Length: 38 minutes. Download MP3 17.9MB (Right click->Save As).
(Audio quality is not so great on this recording)


Chen Lien's anti commercial commercials.
Matusei commercial.

Consumer Cam ConsumerCam:

Vid. 1) Capita'n (previously Yumaowu).
Vid. 2) Matusei.
Vid. 3) Wellcome.
Vid. 4) Sinon.
Vid. 5) Chen Lien.

Show Links:

Bottom Line:

  • The supermarkets in Taiwan have a standard setting of narrow aisles, promotional stands, and a fresh produce section. It is similar to a large convenient store.
  • In a metropolitan place like Taipei, where there’s a high population density and heavy use of public transport the supermarkets provide 24Hrs service.
  • The people accept the upside of supermarkets is convenience, and the downside is the lack of minor freshness. Multi channel selection is dependent on the need.
  • Chen Lien is strategically placed next to most wet markets, they are a provider of everyday goods.
  • The Southern Taiwanese prefer to purchase from people that are familiar with, hence the popularity of the corner markets (mom and pop stores).
  • The corner markets and wet markets have a strong place in Taiwan, it is challenging for multinational companies to break into the social network.
  • The quality and the freshness of the produce are dependent on their relationship with their suppliers.
  • The consumers understand the following: Supermarkets provide convenience and quickness, Hypermarket is for no-rush shopping, Wet market is the place for the freshest produce.
Category: Podcasts

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