Indonesian Traditional Markets amid The Expansion of Supermarkets

Dyna

Supermarkets, hypermarkets, and even small modern markets are often found located near each other in many parts of Asia, including Indonesia. The existence of traditional markets is threatened as the consumers increasingly change their preferences to modern markets. Those supermarkets and modern markets are full with imported products, stacked side by side with domestic products. As the time goes on, modern markets and supermarkets have dominated the number of consumers over traditional markets. There is a need to boost the market share of local products amid the siege of modern markets. This matter was discussed in a seminar hosted by the Faculty of Economics, in collaboration with the Centre for People’s Economy Studies at Gadjah Mada University and Asia Pacific Research Network under the theme “Supermarket Expansion in Asia,” on Saturday, September 29th 2014.

Dr. Revrisond Baswir, one of the speakers explained that the problem is not on the expansion of supermarkets in Asia, it is not the root of the problem. “The problem is the goods being sold in the traditional markets are imported ones. Moreover, the sellers' and buyers’ mindset about purchasing goods has changed. To understand that phenomenon, we have to look back to see what caused it to happen, whether the supermarket expansion is just normal to happen nowadays.”

Dyna Herlina Suwarto, M.Sc. from YSU Marketing Lab said that based on the data of Statistics Indonesia, the first supermarket in Indonesia was opened in 1968. “Until 1997, there were nearly 500 supermarkets and now thousands of supermarkets have mushroomed here. Carrefour for example, it was the pioneer for the modern retail sector following the president act in 1999,” she explained.

Revrisond Baswir added some historical prespective in this discussion. In Indonesia, the Indonesian Communist Party was banned from political activities after the 30 September military assault to Indonesian top generals, killing seven of them and one girl, a daughter of a high rank army officer. However, he argued that the term “30S” (30 September) was made by western corporation network to end the throne of Sukarno, Indonesian first president. On 23 August in the same year, Sukarno passed a bill regulating foreign investment in Indonesia. After the end of Sukarno’s era, foreign investors started to expand their businesses in Indonesia. Supermarket expansion is only a derivation from the phenomenon.

More than 100 participants joined this seminar. They were students, lecturers, dan researchers, as well as members of international NGO’s. (oiap)