CROWDS have been thronging Sunway Malls in Malaysia following the launch of the phenomenally popular Pokemon GO augmented reality game.
Preliminary observations suggest a surge in footfall and sales numbers at the Sunway Carnival Mall in Seberang Jaya, Penang, as well as Sunway Pyramid, Sunway Giza and Sunway Putra Mall in the Klang Valley.
The retail group believes its early adoption of the games lure module activation has helped drive traffic to these locations.
Sunway Malls chief operating officer Kevin Tan said they noticed an increase in visitor numbers by an average of 4% to 10% across the four shopping centres.
Sunway Carnival reported the best results with its retailers like Bread History claiming a sales increase of 50% since the campaign began.
Food and beverage operators Mocktail Bar and Blackball cited a 30% increase, while Winter Warmers reported a figure of 20%.
Others like Chatime, Sushi King, Kim Gary, New Zealand Natural, Shihlin Taiwan Street Snacks, Sakae Sushi, Yoshinoya, Starbucks and Kaffa Signature noted an increase of between 10% and 15%.
“We are unable to exactly verify the total amount of overall sales achieved at the moment, but many retailers have shared that their shops have been busy because of the campaign.
“Currently, it looks like F&B operators have the most to gain whilst fashion retailers see the traffic but business is as usual,” said Tan.
In Sunway Pyramid, F&Boperator Gong Cha recorded a 10% increase in sales, while snacks retailers J&G Chicken and Crispy Crust noted higher than average figures.
Similar trends were also observed in both Sunway Putra and Sunway Giza, averaging an 8% increase.
Such patterns are also noticeable on the World Wide Web, with a check on Google Trends showing that the search for Sunway Pyramid's coordinates shot up by a whopping 5,000% due to it having lots of Poke stops.
Sunway Putra saw a 180% increase in searches related to mall tenant's related offerings.
“We saw this as an opportunity to leverage on games' immense potential. With Pokemon GO, players are finally coming out of their houses and converging outdoors.
“They have to explore their surroundings and learn the locations of the stops and gyms and familiarise themselves with whichever areas they are in, which is great for us as it means they explore our mall.
“All these will ultimately translate into business and sales for our retailers,” added Tan.