Malaysia, especially the Klang Valley, is seeing a major influx in malls over the next few years. According to the New Straits Times, Malaysia currently has around 560 shopping malls nationwide, amounting to about 135 million square feet.
Malaysia Retail Chain Association (MRCA) president Datuk Seri Garry Chua was also quoted by the daily as saying,
“The occupancy for a majority of the malls in Klang Valley is between 85 and 87 per cent and that is considered okay if compared with neighbouring countries like Singapore.”
On top of that, he added that by the end of 2019, Malaysia will have close to 700 malls, adding to a total nett lettable area of 170 million square feet. Garry Chua also mentioned ways to ensure that both new and current malls have a steady flow of visitors, saying,
“One way to fill the malls, both new and existing, is tourism. The government has to do a lot more in getting tourists from around the world to come here, especially from China.”
“Chinese tourists spend about US$260 billion (approx. RM1 trillion) globally. They are the biggest spenders. Indonesia doesn’t have a problem when it comes to retail shopping as they have a lot of people coming from China to buy their products.”
It has also been predicted that by 2030 or 2035, tourism will be the biggest contributor to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) worldwide.
Currently, retail contribution to Malaysia’s GDP stands at 10 per cent, but Garry Chua points out that this could likely go up to 15 per cent over the next 5 years, and tourism could play a major role in this. While he did address concerns of an excess amount of malls among Malaysians, the MRCA president was optimistic that malls can help contribute significantly to our economy and even had a few ideas to keep them interesting for visitors.
“There is huge potential in the local retail industry, despite concerns of a glut in retail space. For future retail, it will have to encompass a lot of digital and concept stores.”
“The malls must be interactive. It must have things like artificial intelligence where you have robots moving around and interacting with people.”
“There should be new dynamics in shopping. Mall owners must keep abreast with the latest trends. Pricing and design must be right, especially for fashion brands.”
Recent studies, however, have painted a different story for the newer malls in Malaysia. Looking at the rapid expansion of e-commerce in light of price hikes, new malls are not getting that many visitors. Fewer retailers are occupying new malls, leading to them being repurposed as co-working spaces in light of a huge decline in interest among visitors.
By 2021, Malaysia is expecting 27 new malls in Kuala Lumpur alone, bringing the overall number of malls in our capital city to 197 – that’s 86.2 million square feet in retail space, although this news received generally unfavourable responses from Malaysian netizens, some of whom suggested the government to invest in building more public libraries, pedestrian walkways, and parks instead.
What are your thoughts on the projected number of malls? Let us know in the comments below!
#Throwback: Inspiring M’sians Who’ve Proven That It Takes Just a Bit of Guts to Spread Love & Make a Difference
Having the courage to show someone you love or care for them definitely takes a certain level of guts–no matter...
Here’s How M’sians Can Use PETRONAS Mesra Points Online & Redeem with AirAsia, Sunway Lagoon & More!
If you’re not a PETRONAS Mesra Card holder, you’re missing out big time! Here’s why you NEED to be a...
Win a Trip For 2 to Rio, London & More to visit the Iconic Olympic Stadiums From the Past! Here’s How
The very first time Malaysia participated in the Summer Olympics was back in 1964, wayyy before any of you were...