Let the year-end shopping begin

Shop till you drop: Shoppers looking for a good bargain this holiday season are making a beeline for malls like the Mid Valley Megamall in Kuala Lumpur. — AZMAN GHANI/The Star

PETALING JAYA: From handbags to TVs, Malaysian shoppers have started on their year-end wish list.

Communications executive Iris Chong, 33, said she plans to buy a handbag and a pair of sneakers during the festive sales in view of the possibility of bigger discounts.

“I almost bought them several days back, but my sister reminded me of the year-end sales and I’ve decided to wait till then,” she said.

She is hoping that the money saved from purchases (during year-end sales) can be used to get other things such as cosmetics, that will probably see a price slash as well.

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“We have been shopping on e-commerce platforms for so long (due to the lockdowns), so I am definitely looking forward to physically going around malls to look for the best deals,” she said.

Engineer A. Ramachandran, 36, said he was hunting for a new TV.

This has been on his wish list since moving into a new apartment earlier this year.

Although he had thought of getting it online, he eventually decided he preferred to get such a big-ticket item from a traditional brick-and-mortar shop.

“It may be slightly more expensive (compared to purchasing online), but at least I can get an assurance that the product is working well, besides ironing out any details in case of defects,” he said.

Montessori assistant teacher Kelly Anne Crystal Conzago, 30, said discounts during year-end sales made Christmas shopping much more affordable.

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“It is better to shop in stores as we can see and test the product first,” she said.

As for the malls and retailers, they are anticipating large crowds thanks to the year-end sales.

“Traffic wise, we are already seeing a 100% return compared with pre-pandemic levels.

“We expect this to go up a further 10% to 15% once the year-end festivities, school holidays and in-bound travel begin,” said Sunway Malls and Theme Parks chief executive officer HC Chan.

He said Sunway Malls was forecasting a strong year-end with the coming festive season.

“We expect to finish 2022 with an overall 12% higher sales turnover compared with 2019, which itself was a historically high trading year for us,” he said.

Malaysia Retailers Association president Datuk Andrew Lim Tatt Keong said shoppers could expect discounts and rebates during the year-end sales, given how they always provided the best offers compared with other periods.

“With the political uncertainty being cleared alongside Malaysia’s transition towards endemicity, the public most certainly have the feel-good factor to go about with festivities and shopping again.

“Our revenue targets had been back on track even before the general election.

“We hope that it can continue into the year-end festive season,” he said.

And with the Chinese New Year celebrations taking place in January next year, he said it was “certainly a good time for the retail sector”.

Kuala Lumpur Pavilion Sdn Bhd retail chief executive officer Datuk Joyce Yap said the group was eager to welcome shoppers for the year-end festive season.

She said it was anticipating about six million visitors throughout December, given that the festive and football seasons were taking place at the same time and that Fifa World Cup matches were being screened live at Pavilion Elite and Precinct Connection.

She added that mall retailers had lined up holiday season gifting specials, sales and promotions while decking their stores with decorations to add to the merriment.

“In line with Health Ministry’s recommendations, we encourage shoppers to continue wearing face masks and practising safe distancing.

“Precautions such as sanitising key areas throughout the mall are still being undertaken to ensure a safe environment for our patrons,” she said.

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