By KEVIN PAMBA
RECENT changes in the landscape of retail and wholesale business in Madang have left the province with only one wholesaler – M&S Tsang Ltd.
Shops and trade stores, particularly the smaller Papua New Guinean-owned ones within the town vicinity and in the rural areas are now relying on M&S Tsang Wholesale.
Bigger retailers are outsourcing their goods in Lae and overseas.
Some customers claimed that with only one wholesaler, they have to wait several days for the orders to arrive, unlike in the past.
Small trade store owners from the villages and road-side peddlers, who cannot put up with the queue at M&S Tsang, are getting their supply from major retail outlets in Madang town at premium prices.
The situation cropped up after changes in ownership of wholesale and retail businesses in Madang town over the last 12 to 18 months.
One of the major players in the wholesale sector, Rabtrad Niugini, owned by Madang Development Corp, the business arm of the Madang provincial government, was sold to another local business, Madang Butchery & Supermarket.
After some months of acquiring the Rabtrad’s businesses, the Madang Butchery & Supermarket folded up Rabtrad’s wholesale and retail operations to concentrate on butchery and supermarket business.
One of the buildings that Rabtrad used to occupy as a hardware store has been taken over by Agmark Ltd and converted into its usual agricultural support hardware store.
Two of the wholesale and retail stores of the former Rabtrad Cash & Carry are for sale and have remained closed at the moment.
The National understands that a major foreign-owned trading house has acquired the former Rabtrad Cash ‘N Carry (wholesale and retail) opposite the main town market.
The new owners plan to add another floor to this building and make it a major wholesale and retail house for Madang province.