Red Bundle — family business with a humble beginning

Fazmin showing some branded hand bags with affordable prices. Photo: Mohd Alif Noni

KUCHING: With only RM240, a family-run bundle shop famously known as Red Bundle now has a sixth branch in Sarawak.

Its new branch is located at the MetroCity Matang New Township and is said to be one of the largest bundle shops in Malaysia — with three floors and seven lots of shop houses, and 18 staff members.

The premises will house more than 30,000 items ranging from garments to branded bags and will be opening its door to customers this coming Saturday (March 6).

Red Bundle manager Nur Fazmin Jamin being interviewed by reporters. Photo: Mohd Alif Noni

Red Bundle manager Nur Fazmin Jamin, 24, said that the Kuching branch will offer a variety of items such as shirts, jeans, bags, and shoes at an affordable price.

“We opened our first branch in Sri Aman, then we expanded to Sarikei, Sibu, Miri, and we also have a warehouse in Sibu which received much support from the customers,” she said in an interview at Red Bundle today (March 2).

She said that they decided to open a branch in Kuching due to the overwhelming response and high demand from the people here.

“We are glad that despite the Covid-19 pandemic which has affected many businesses, with the strong support of our family, friends, and customers, we persevered and opened our new branch which we have planned for a few years,” she said.

She added Red Bundle is different from the other bundle shops as they offer quality yet cheap products which goes along with their tagline ‘Biar Bundle Janji Ori’ (buy bundle, as long it’s original)

“At our new shop, it is divided into various sections — men’s apparel, women’s apparel, shoes, bags, and branded items. One floor will be items that are fixed at RM5 nett,” she said.

Items sold as low as RM0.20

Nur Fazmin said that the items sold at the shop are a mixture of pre-loved items and rejected defective products and branded bags such as MCM, LV, Chanel, Anne Klein, Piere Cardin, Crocodile with a starting price of RM100.

“We also have vintage clothes, which mean the clothing line is discontinued and is sold at a starting price of RM15. Furthermore, we also have jeans sold as cheap at RM10 each,” she said.

Fazmin showing thousand of shirt and pants. Photo: Mohd Alif Noni

She added that every month, Red Bundle would take in 900 bundles of garments and other goods from overseas such as Korea, Japan, Australia, United States, United Kingdom, Singapore, India, and Honduras, then it would be distributed to the respective branches for sale.

“Our product price ranges from RM0.20 to the most expensive that could go up to more than RM200 and these are mostly branded bags,” she said.

She explained that items starting from the RM0.20 range are items that they are unable to sell for three months, which will then be put out for ‘lelong’ (auction).

Challenges before and during Covid-19

Nur Fazmin shared her stepfather who is the founder of Red Bundle, Ismandi Labot, started with a boutique selling ‘tudung’ (head scarf for Muslim women) in 2016, but competition was stiff as there were many shops selling head scarves in Sri Aman.

“So, he went into the business of selling pre-loved items in 2018 with a start-up of just RM240. Times were tough then, but we are happy that we have come this far today,” she said.

She said among the challenges faced when they first opened Red Bundle in Sri Aman was that not many people patronised the shop as they thought it was just selling second-hand items.

“There is always a misconception that bundle shops are just selling second-hand items, but it sells brand new items that has some defects from the manufacturing company,” she said.

She said bundle shops have now become a trend, especially for collectors who love to collect rare or vintage items.

“During Covid-19, it did impact our business as we were not allowed to open during the first few months last year due to movement control order (MCO).

“But, so far, things are quite normal as shops are allowed to open and we make sure that all safety standard operating procedures (SOPs) are in place,” she said.

She added that Red Bundle has also started selling their items online during the pandemic.

Upcoming plans

The civil engineering graduate said that Red Bundle has yet to decide on whether it should open another branch.

She said her family will concentrate on its new and existing branches for now by attracting more customers.

“We did think of franchising Red Bundle. But that would require more time and we will see when the time comes,” she said.

As for Nur Fazmin herself, she said she is planning to help run the business full-time first and then hopefully continue with her gegree in business management.

Handbags from numerous of brands. Photo: Mohd Alif Noni