Bright Shopper
    Category: Entrepreneurs By : Gloria Haraito Read : 2383 Date : Tuesday, August 19, 2014 - 07:38:55


    Ahmad Zamroni / Forbes Indonesia

    The Goods Dept stands out from the luxury outlets that crowd the glitzy Pacific Place mall in Jakarta. Most are high-end brands set in fancy outlets where the smallest item can cost millions of rupiah. The Goods Dept, on the other hand, has plain cement floors and exposed concrete walls. It sells shoes made by local entrepreneurs that cost Rp 600,000. Even the name, The Goods Dept, is unpretentious.

    Anton Wirjono, 44, the founder of The Goods Dept, says his department store aims to do something different. “About 80% of our products are independent local brands. Here they have chance to compete against global brands,” says Anton. Some typical goods on display are shoes made by local shoemakers Inksomnia and Amble Footware (both which sell shoes below Rp 1 million).

    The idea for The Goods Dept grew out of Brightspot Market, a bazaar-style market that Anton started in 2009 to showcase startup local brands. The first Brightspot took place in a 600 square-meter area in the EX Plaza in Jakarta, with 25 booths rented out at Rp 2 million per booth. The event attracted 5,000 visitors over four days. Considering this a success, Anton held more Brightspots, usually in a high-end mall, each time attracting more visitors and more brands. By November last year, Anton held his 10th Brightspot, which had 125 booths, each rented at Rp 8 million, and which attracted 79,000 visitors to the Lotte Shopping Avenue. To celebrate the 10th Brightspot, a side event “Bright Ideas” was added, which featured film screenings, creative presentations, music performances and workshops. “Brightspot is unique because it put entertainment back to retail,” Anton says.

    The success of Brightspot inspired Anton to essentially establish a permanent bazaar in the form of The Goods Dept, opening it in 2010 with a Rp 1 billion investment. “I believe the power of underdog. If we help each others, we could raise people trust on our brands,” says Anton. The Goods Dept has a consignation system with lower rates than other stores and doesn’t allow sales promotions.

    Anton then brought in some new investors including his sister Cynthia Wirjono, her husband Chris Kerrigan, designer Leo Theosabrata and others to raise expansion capital, selling shares in his holding company PT Cipta Retail Prakarsa. Anton then expanded into a number of new ventures, including a new restaurant, the Goods Diner. The Goods Dept also have their own restaurants, The Goods Café. He also set up an online shopping venture called www.thegoodsdept.com, and added two more The Goods Dept. (both having The Goods Cafés).



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