End-of-the-year extravaganza awaits

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 14 Nov 2019

PETALING JAYA: With the year-end school holidays approaching, retailers are pushing to significantly boost sales to end the year on a high note despite the cautious consumer sentiment.

Malaysia Retail Chain Association (MCRA) president Datuk Seri Garry Chua said as consumer’s propensity to spend is a bit cautious, shopping malls have to spend money to boost festive season mood as people now tend to look for more “experiential and interactive” malls.

“If the malls can bring in more excitement and more activities, I think a lot more foot traffic will come into the malls, ” he said.

He added that retailers too have to come up with more “bargain and value-for-money shopping” as well as implement ease of payment services such as Alipay, Touch ‘n Go eWallet and Boost that would benefit not only locals but also tourists.

With less than two months to the end of the year, Chua said the government should also boost local tourism to encourage Malaysians to spend locally, adding that Malaysians still have buying power.

Chua noted that if there is a big arrival on international tourism, it can also help the retail scene tremendously as it has a “big multiplier effect”.

Sunway Shopping Malls and Theme Parks chief executive officer H.C. Chan said the last quarter of the year has always traditionally been a peak season for retailers.

“We normally anticipate higher footfall and patronage during this time.

“However, we are cautious that the protracted trade war and economic uncertainty will weigh in on consumer sentiments.

“Hence, shopping malls will need to embark on delivering additional value to shoppers to spur spending, ” he said.

Chan said for its malls, it would be adopting a festive theme that covers both Christmas and Chinese New Year celebrations where each of its retail establishment will adopt a sub-theme to suit its captive markets.

“For us, it is important that we deliver a memorable experience to shoppers, ” he said, adding that Sunway Velocity Mall and Sunway City KL will be holding New Year countdown celebrations.

However, Bumiputra Retailers Organisation president Datuk Ameer Ali Mydin found that consumers sentiment was generally positive but noted that consumers would spend on necessities rather than non-essential items.

“When it comes to the year end period, parents tend to spend money for back-to-school necessities because education is an important part for every parent, ” he said.

Ameer, who is also Mydin’s managing director, said the hypermarket would be focusing on back-to-school essentials and expects the sales growth during that period to be the same or slightly higher than last year.

IOI City Mall Putrajaya head of advertising and promotions Joyce Chew said most of its tenants have started year end promotions.

She said the mall would be holding several activities to encourage shoppers to come to their premises.

Several other malls in Klang Valley have also said they were putting up decorations and giving out “rewards” for shoppers to encourage spending this year end.

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