Starting a Modern Indonesian Retail Business

Founded in 1962, PT Sarinah (Persero) is a State-Owned Enterprise (SOE) engaged in the retail and trade sector. Sarinah has played an important role as a channel for the nation’s creative industry players to display their best works and products to the public.

Company History

PT Sarinah (Persero) was established on August 17, 1962 as the cornerstone of Indonesia’s modern retail business.

As a State-Owned Enterprise (SOE), Sarinah was the brainchild of the country’s Founding Father, President Soekarno, with the purpose of facilitating retail trade activities and driving economic growth of Indonesia.

This far-reaching mission was manifested through the construction of Sarinah Building on Jl. M. H. Thamrin, Jakarta. The inauguration of Sarinah Building on August 15, 1966 also marked its existence as the first department store in Indonesia.

In carrying out President Soekarno’s mandate that Sarinah must become the center of trade and promotion for domestic-made products, especially agricultural and industrial products, Sarinah continues to uphold its commitment to empower the small, medium enterprises and cooperatives’ products.

Responding to the ever-changing consumers’ needs, Sarinah has expanded its business by establishing a number of subsidiaries in more than five decades of its existence. Positioning itself as a partner, Sarinah has reached out to local craftsmen in remote areas, cooperatives in various villages and cities, and well-known fashion designers in the capital. In addition, Sarinah’s trading activities have included exports and imports of various commodities and furniture. These products also decorate the storefronts of several Sarinah outlets in Jakarta, Semarang and Malang.

Sarinah is named after one of President’s Soekarno’s childhood caregivers. The deep impression of how influential the caregiver in his life has inspired the naming. Reflecting on this special figure, Sarinah strives to carry out its mission as a trusted partner for small businesses and as an international ambassador for Indonesia’s cultural heritage through the diverse array of local products it develops and markets.



Sarinah was established on August 17, 1962 under the name PT Department Store Indonesia and officially operated on August 15, 1966. PT Department Store Indonesia was later known as Sarinah, a name given by President Soekarno as a tribute for a very influential figure in his life.


Sarinah’s commitment to the mission of supporting and encouraging Indonesia’s economic development is apparent in its various efforts to promote local handicrafts such as batik. On April 10, 1979, Sarinah officially changed its name to PT Sarinah (Persero).


Acquiring a substantial amount of funds, Sarinah expanded its business by opening a branch in Semarang, Central Java. This effort was also accompanied by the launch of several new programs to further promote MSMEs products to customers. These are parts of Sarinah’s effort to strengthen its existence in Indonesia.


Keeping up with the times, Sarinah continues to make efforts to achieve its vision and mission. In 2019, besides developing its retail business, Sarinah also spreads its wings in the trading business by exporting Sarinah Home products to several countries and importing several commodities. In the future, Sarinah will transform its business coverage.