Covid-19: This Malaysian start-up can tell you which neighbourhoods are easier to buy groceries from

Hans/Mar 18, 2020 03:54 PM

With so many stupid people panic buying and hoarding up daily necessities as they prepare up hole up at home for two weeks, where should you go to buy your groceries? Obviously it has to be a place where supply is plentiful, but with less crowd.

UrbanMetry is a Malaysian big-data, market intelligence gathering company serving property developers and city planners. It uses artificial intelligence and proprietary algorithms to comb through large amounts of geographical data, extracting trending and patterns within cities.

They have recently published an infographic ranking Klang Valley neighbourhoods on their ratio of grocery stores versus population size.

If you are looking for a place with the highest number of grocery stores, Rawang, Shah Alam and Kelana Jaya are your best bet as these three neighbourhoods have the highest grocery stores:population size ratio.

At the other end of the scale is Sentul, Kampung Tunku and Port Klang. These areas have a large population but with only a small number of grocery stores serving them, so don’t bother.

Looking at it another way, it also means that these areas are under served and offers business opportunities, income levels aside. Answering such questions is UrbanMetry’s expertise.  

Of course, the data set doesn’t tell you everything, as it is geared towards city planners and property developers rather than consumers preparing for a zombie apocalypse.

Having more stores don’t necessarily mean more supply as the smaller stores have less storage space and aren’t able to restock empty shelves as quickly as bigger hypermarkets.

UrbanMetry had simply leveraged on their data to give it a cheeky spin to an otherwise morbid Covid-19 ‘lockdown’ situation. The infographic is only a top-line preview of the kind of solutions that UrbanMetry is able to provide to city planners and property developers.

Their intelligence services don’t come free. So if you can’t find your neighbourhood’s postcode in the image above, that’s because the company needs to keep a certain level of opacity to maintain the value of their information.

Also, we need to stress that grocery stores will remain open throughout the two weeks of Covid-19 Movement Control Order, Malaysia’s milder version of a ‘lockdown.’

When you buy more than necessary, you contribute to an unnecessary shock to the supply chain, depriving poorer folks who have greater difficulty of traveling out from buying what little they need. Lower income families who depend on daily/weekly wages also can’t afford to buy as many goods and have to shop more frequently.

Don’t be an asshole. Prove to The Joker that he is wrong.