‘Time to position Malaysia as shopping destination’

IN 2002, Malaysia garnered RM5.13bil worth of receipts from shopping, which represented 20.6% of the total RM25.8bil tourist expenditure.

“It was RM6.5bil in 2018 and in 2019, we amassed RM7.1bil worth of tourist shopping expenditure.

“The encouraging figure provides confidence to retailers that Malaysia has the potential to position itself as an international shopping destination for all,” the Malaysia Retailers Association (MRA) said in a statement.MRA president and Sogo Group deputy chairman Datuk Andrew Lim addressing guests at the MRA 40th anniversary dinner celebration in Petaling Jaya.MRA president and Sogo Group deputy chairman Datuk Andrew Lim addressing guests at the MRA 40th anniversary dinner celebration in Petaling Jaya.

To realise the said goal, a national committee would be formed and led by the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry to spearhead the initiative, the association said.

It stated that the other ministries and agencies to be involved should be the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry, International Trade and Industry Ministry, Customs Department, Malaysian Association of Tours and Travel Agents (MATTA), MRA, Persatuan Pengurusan Kompleks Malaysia (PPK) and State Tourism Action Council.

Efforts to promote Malaysia as a world-class shopping destination to overseas and domestic tourists should be streamlined, it added.

To sustain new retail industry trends, MRA suggested investments in automated technology to help retailers to better manage labour shortage.

It said that if same-day delivery could be done, it would give retailers a clear advantage.

As social commerce will be one of the biggest digital trends for the retail industry, interactive retail experiences will bridge the gap between the online and offline parts of a store.

Borders between brick-and- mortar retail and other industries such as food and beverage will continue to blur, as selling online and omni-channel tools help to create more meaningful shopping experiences.

MRA added that in South-East Asia, Malaysia continued to remain highly popular for foreign retailers.

It said that despite the Covid-19 pandemic, many new foreign retailers had opened their first stores in Malaysia this year.

“To date, we have 34 new brands from 17 countries that opened their first stores in Malaysia.”

They include Matcha Eight, Nitori, Nojima, Ainz and Tulpe, Baristart Coffee, Tsutaya, DonQ and Gyomu from Japan as well as Philipp Plein from German, Balmain from France, Lladro from Spain and Amaris from Switzerland.

“The new supply of several high-quality malls in Greater Kuala Lumpur attracted these retailers to set up stores here,” the association added.

MRA said foreign retailers targeting to open before end of this year or early next year include Yakiniku Sizzle (Japan), Black Tap (United States), Seibu (Japan), Apple Store (United States), Eslite Bookstore (Taiwan), Bacha Coffee (Morocco), David Rocco (Canada), Omotesando Koffee (Japan), Paris Baguette (South Korea), Nuttea (Taiwan), Shake Shack (United States) and GS25 (South Korea).

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