KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Retail Chain Association (MRCA) is expecting an increase of about 4.5% in retail sales this year, driven by the country’s tourism industry.
MRCA president Datuk Gary Chua said when the Government implemented the goods and services tax in 2014, consumer sentiment turned cautious, but it had since improved, recording a more than 4% growth in 2015 and below 4% last year.
He said growth was expected to be higher this year due to an increase in tourist arrivals from Europe, the United States, Australia and China.
“Tourism activities would have a tremendous multiplier effect on our businesses, from transportation to hotel, entertainment, food and beverages, “ he told reporters after announcing MRCA’s Retail Conference and the Malaysia International Retail and Franchise (MIRF) Exhibition in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday.
The one-day Retail Conference would be held on July 12 at the Gardens Hotel, followed by the MIRF Exhibition at the Mid Valley Exhibition Centre from July 13 to 16.
Themed Innovation: The Future is Now
, the conference aimed to strengthen digital retail initiatives introduced by MRCA and to increase the participant’s awareness on the latest digital technology and tools, while address the Gen-Y consumers and workforce.
Meanwhile, the association has targeted a 20% increase in total transaction revenue from the MIRF exhibition this year from RM50mil achieved in 2016.
“We will have 250 exhibitors and we’re aiming for 20,000 visitors for the four-day event,” said MIRF organising chairman and MRCA vice-president Datuk Liew Bin.
He said although the franchise industry had a great growth potential in Malaysia, more needed to be done to promote it as it only accounted for 5% of retail sales in the country currently, compared with other developed nations where the industry accounted for 40% of retail sales.
“The Malaysian franchise business has been growing at 15%, annually, from 2008 to 2014, but the growth is still very small compared with the total retail sales business,” said Liew.
He added that aside from local brands, this year’s MIRF would also feature international brands from Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Australia and the United States. - Bernama