Japanese internet personality ROLAND (ローランド) faced challenges when he tried to expand his business in Malaysia. In a YouTube video, ROLAND disclosed that he lost approximately RM1.9 million (60 million Japanese Yen) attempting to open a branch of his hair removal salon, ROLAND Beauty Lounge, in Malaysia.
According to the video, he chose J Value Mall at the Pinnacle in Petaling Jaya to open his first branch of hair removal salon. He lost RM1.9 million partly because the mall, initially designed as a Japanese concept mall, had ongoing construction and lacked customers due to its distant location from downtown Kuala Lumpur, where most Japanese expats reside.
The 31-year-old Japanese personality discussed these problems with the CEO of J Value Mall, Hirofumi Ouchi. The YouTube video showed both of them discussing the location of the mall is not strategic, the slow rate of construction and also the lack of crowd. Due to these challenges, ROLAND had to cancel his plans for the salon, resulting in a wasted investment.
The video has garnered the attention of many Malaysians. Many Malaysians believed the business failed due to a lack of proper market research. They also pointed out that a better location for the salon would have been Bukit Bintang, Hartamas, or Mont Kiara where most Japanese expats reside.