MISS Shophia, Malaysia’s new shopping icon for super bargains and fantastic experiences, was introduced at the Malaysia National Sales Grand Launch 2016 at Nu Sentral, Kuala Lumpur, recently.
Pronounced as “Sho’fi’ah” or “Shop’ia”, she is the ultimate shopping companion who will guide shoppers on fashion trends, provide the latest information on when and where to shop, what to look out for, and how to get the best out of shopping in Malaysia.
As Malaysia’s shopping icon, she also highlights Malaysia’s shopping locations, from the cool comfort of chic malls and stores, to charming and quaint open-air markets. She is set to attract Malaysian shoppers as well as international tourists through shopping campaigns overseas.
What’s interesting is that Miss Shophia is not a one-dimensional character but has a persona of her own. As a cosmopolitan Malaysian female in her 30s, who was educated in Malaysia and abroad, majoring in contemporary arts and design with a minor in social sciences, Miss Shophia is a writer by profession, an ardent traveller who is familiar with and interested in fashion trends and global developments in gadgets and other design elements, an avid foodie who enjoys both local and international cuisines, and also a health buff who exercises regularly and enjoys adventure sports such as cycling, trekking, off-road driving and scuba-diving.
She enjoys the company of family and friends when she travels, shops and dines, and has two cats. Her appearance changes according to her various roles as she presents herself to the different Malaysian communities and the various global markets.
The grand launch, which was officiated by Deputy Tourism and Culture Minister Mas Ermieyati Samsudin, marks the beginning of the three nationwide sales: the 1Malaysia Super Sale (March 1 to 31) which replaces the 1Malaysia Grand Prix Sale; the 1Malaysia Mega Sale Carnival (June 15 to Aug 31), and the 1Malaysia Year-End Sale (Nov 1 to Dec 31). These three shopping campaigns offer huge bargains, special deals, duty-free offers at entry and exit points, as well as events and activities in shopping stores nationwide.
Asked how and whether shopping was affected by the depreciating ringgit, Tourism Malaysia director-general Datuk Seri Mirza Mohammad Taiyab said it actually had a positive effect.
“It is actually a bonus for tourists coming to Malaysia. They instantly get a 25% discount on everything because of the foreign currency exchange rates. So, they get more for their dollar when they shop in Malaysia,” he said.
He added that more locals were also spending their money locally instead of overseas because of the foreign exchange rates.
Prior to the launch was the Tourism Malaysia Shopping Hunt 2016. The purpose of the Shopping Hunt was to introduce and promote major shopping areas in the capital city that have contributed in making Kuala Lumpur an attractive shopping destination in Asia.
Participants in the Shopping Hunt included local media members; representatives from shopping malls; retail trade associations; and Tourism Malaysia’s Mega Fam (familiarisation) Programme participants, namely, international media and travel agents from Brunei, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Sudan, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines, Seychelles, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. The Shopping Hunt was flagged off by Mirza at the Malaysia Tourism Centre (Matic) in Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur.
Participants were divided into 22 teams, with four to five individuals per team, and the hunt took them through some of the major shopping routes/precincts in Kuala Lumpur, such as Bukit Bintang-Kuala Lumpur City Centre, Jalan Ampang and Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, via public transport, with the finishing line at Nu Sentral.
Winners received cash prizes, vouchers and other items sponsored by Tourism Malaysia, participating malls, cafes and hotel, BBKLCC, Batu Road Retailers Association (Barra), and Prasarana Malaysia Berhad.
The winning team was Team 10 with Chan Wai Yee from Suria KLCC, Chester Chin from The Star, Nor Haizatul Akma Mohd Yusof from Santai Travel, Muhd Zulkamal Awg Haji Kamis from Brunei Press, and Mohanad Ibrahim Ahmed Abuzaid, a Mega Fam participant from Sudan. Their prizes included RM5,000 cash, Berjaya Times Square Indoor Theme Park vouchers, and Marc Jacobs and Jimmy Choo perfume.
The participating malls, cafes and hotel were Avenue K, Berjaya Times Square, Central Market, Coliseum Cafe, Gulati’s Silk Store, Fahrenheit88, Jakel Mall, Lot 10, Nu Sentral, Outback Steak House, Pavillion KL, Quill City Mall, Sogo, Starhill Gallery, Sungei Wang Plaza, Sunway Putra Mall, Suria KLCC and Swiss Hotel.
Malaysia has won several international shopping awards, including the world’s Fifth Best Shopping Destination by Expedia UK this year, and the Second Best Shopping Destination 2015 for Muslims in the OIC Destination based on CrescentRating and MasterCard Muslim Travel Shopping Index. Kuala Lumpur was also crowned the world’s Fourth Best Shopping City by global news network CNN, for two consecutive years (in 2012 and 2013), while the Geneva-based Globe Shopper Index ranked the city as the Second Best Shopping Destination in Asia-Pacific in 2012.
For details, visit www.facebook.com/missshophia