Sudden mall closure shocks traders and outlet operators

Sorry sight: The Perda City Mall in Bandar Perda, Bukit Mertajam, is literally deserted after the management had informed traders and outlet operators of its shutdown. (Inset) Employees of an outlet packing up their goods.

TRADERS and business operators at the Perda City Mall in Bukit Mertajam, Penang, were stunned when they were informed by the management that the mall was closing down.

Frustrated and disappointed, they were left with no choice but to pack up their goods immediately.

Seberang Prai Municipal Council president Datuk Maimunah Mohd Sharif said she was taken aback when informed of the situation yesterday.

“I know nothing about the closure,” she said after a press conference at the MPSP headquarters that’s just across the road from the mall.

Mobile phone accessory trader Mohd Ridzuan Abdul Halim, 34, who has been doing business there since two years ago blamed poor business and mismanagement for the closure.

“We all knew business wasn’t going well in the mall but things took a turn for the worse two weeks ago when the mall suddenly shut down the air-conditioning system.

“Traders and customers had to bear with the humid and stuffy environment, and the management gave various excuses to us.

(From right) Hasanah Mohd Zain, Rohana and two assistants packing up their stock after Perda City Mall announced its closure in Bandar Perda, Bukit Mertajam.
(From right) Hasanah Mohd Zain, Rohana and two assistants packing up their stock after Perda City Mall announced its closure in Bandar Perda, Bukit Mertajam.

“We then learnt that the management has owed Tenaga Nasional Bhd a large sum of money.

On Monday, the management told tenants to pack up and leave as the mall was closing down.

Yesterday, the management and staff members had vacated their offices.

Mohd Ridzuan said the notice came earlier than anticipated and many traders were shocked by the 11th hour notice.

“Many traders have not found a new place to move to. I am also not sure if I will be able to get back my RM1,000 deposit paid to the management.”

The mall opened in 2008 and was known as the Aeon Seberang Prai City.

In 2014, Aeon moved its business to a new mall in Alma, and a new management took over the complex, naming it Perda City Mall.

They closed it for three months for repairs and upgrading works and reopened in Sept 2014.

Mattress and pillow trader Rohana Abdullah, 50, a Kedahan from Kulim, said she had learnt her lesson and would seek a more stable-performing mall to do business in future.

“The notice saying the mall will close the following day is shocking.

“When we went to see the management, the office was closed,” she said yester-day.

Other stall owners and individual outlets were also seen packing their stock into boxes at the mall, while some looked helpless as they had nowhere to go.

However, workers of the mall’s anchor retailer – Parkson Corp Sdn Bhd, would be transferred to other Parkson branches nearest to their home.

One Parkson worker who wished to be known only as Aziz said he had just completed arranging products for Parkson’s August promotion, but the effort was shortlived as they had to repack and leave.

There is also an Econsave hypermarket and a TGV Cinema in the mall.

The management could not be reached for comments.

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