Sunway Malls bucks the trend with 200 shops opening despite pandemic


KUALA LUMPUR: Sunway Malls, which operates seven malls across Klang Valley, Penang and Johor, continues to see healthy demand for its retail space with the opening of 200 new shops across its malls despite the weak market condition arising from COVID-19 pandemic.

Sunway Malls and Theme Park chief executive officer HC Chan said the achievement is largely driven by the growing emergence and accelerating expansion of Asian retail brands into the local retail scene which has picked up pace over the past few years.

"Significantly, we are seeing an Asian renaissance whereby Asian brands from China, Japan, Korea, Thailand and many others are outpacing Western brands in terms of expansion in Malaysia.

"As a result, Sunway Malls continues to see the significance of the Asian brands equation in our trade mix,” he said in a statement today.

Of the 200 new shops, the mall company is seeing the entry of a plethora of Asian brands, among them, China’s DJI and Anta, Singapore’s TRT and IORA, Thailand’s Pomelo, Japan’s Shabuyo, Chateraise, Hazuikido and Bakery Cafe Haichi and Malaysia’s Santan, Gravy Baby, Uncle Don and Noko.

"Some of these Asian brands are also making their maiden foray with the first flagship or concept stores in Malaysia with Sunway Malls such as first DJI drone flagship store, first Pomelo flagship store, first TRT store, first Shabuyo store, first Noko store in mall and others.

"Cumulatively, the 200 new shops chalk up approximately 65,032.12 square metres (sqm) of nett lettable area (NLA). This is comparable to opening a normal size mall with 100 per cent occupancy,” Chan said.

In terms of new shop categories, he said the composition is made up of 45 per cent retail (including fashion), 35 per cent foods and beverages (F&B), eight per cent beauty, eight per cent IT and telecommunication and four per cent leisure and entertainment.

"International brands constitute 41 per cent with a corresponding NLA of 35,303.15 sqm while local brands contribute 59 per cent with an NLA of 29,728.97 sqm,” he said.

Additionally, he said the non-retail segment is seeing continued growth; the growing trend of F&B and leisure and entertainment segments in malls is not expected to ease off.

"As living spaces become dense, high-rise and smaller, coupled with strong demand in both out-of-home dining and entertainment, post pandemic non-retail will reach 50 per cent of mall’s trade mix in the near future,” said Chan.

Meanwhile, Sunway Malls said it anticipated economic recovery to be slow, gradual and protracted for the first half of 2021 (1H2021) with normality reaching 90 per cent in 2H2021 in line with general consensus that gross domestic product (GDP) growth for 2021 would be in the five per cent range.

Despite the short term challenges, the group expects the long term outlook to remain resilient, healthy and robust subject to successful virus containment, vaccine development and disbursement as well as the implementation of Budget 2021 measures. - Bernama

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