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AW Faber-Castell (M) Sdn Bhd (Faber-Castell Malaysia), is on an expansion drive this year.  Managing director Toh Yan Peng said the group would seek suitable locations to set up more Faber-Castell retail boutiques and kiosks locally. 

“We have two boutiques at the moment and we will be setting up the third boutique in Sunway Pyramid Phase 2 in September. We intend to open up to 14 Faber-Castell concept stores in the country within the next three years. These stores will include Graf von Faber-Castell shop-in-shop, kiosks and boutiques,” Toh told StarBiz in an interview. 

The stationery manufacturer opened its first boutique in Starhill Gallery last December to market its luxury collections and then opened another at the Mid Valley Mega Mall recently.  

To a question, Toh said the investment for a boutique would cost at least RM300,000 depending on the shop’s location and size.  

The operation of its retail outlets will be reflected in its bottom line within two years. 

“These stores will not only help increase the sales of our premium range writing instruments, but will also help to bring the brand image of Faber-Castell to a higher level,” he said. 

Faber-Castell Malaysia also runs two Graf von Faber-Castell shop-in-shop within Klang Valley; one kiosk each in Queensbay Mall, Penang and Berjaya Times Square, Kuala lumpur. 

Faber-Castell Malaysia marketing managing Andrew Phang said its soon-to-be opened boutique in Sunway Pyramid would be the group’s largest boutique with a floor space of 1,300 sq ft. 

“Sunway Pyramid has very good potential for our art and graphic range as it has good catchments being surrounded by established higher institutions of learning,” he said, adding that this boutique would also be a service centre for all Faber-Castell products. 

On its financial performance, Toh said he hoped revenue to hit the RM100mil for the current financial year ending March 31, 2008 (FY08) buoyed by organic growth, new products and retail outlets. 

“We are confident that the figure is achievable. We aim to at least repeat last year’s double-digit growth,” he said, adding that the company posted RM86mil in revenue for FY07. 

Besides investing for new boutiques, Faber-Castell Malaysia would also continue to invest in its advertising and marketing activities.  

Toh said the company would also continue to develop more innovative products. Faber-Castell has introduced the sleeve eraser, which is PVC-free and has a protective swivel sleeve.  

“This eraser won the 2007 ISPA (International Stationery Press Association) award in the “back to school” category for being user-friendly and its ergonomics,” he added. 

The company, which will be celebrating its 30th anniversaries in Malaysia next year would also be launching its perfect pencil, which has an eraser and a built-in sharpener to the local market in October.  

He said the company would also invest in new machinery to upgrade production at its Subang Jaya factory to full automation. This factory produces 300 million erasers and 65 million pens yearly.