(Source: Inside Retail Asia | October 29, 2018)
Malaysia is expecting to have a total of 700 shopping malls with net lettable area of 170 million sq. ft. by end of 2019, as more developers continue to build.
According to Malaysia Retail Chain Association (MRCA) the country has about 560 Malaysian malls operating nationwide with total net lettable area of about 135 million sq. ft. The occupancy for majority of the malls in Klang Valley is between 85 and 87 percent and that is considered okay if compared with neighboring countries like Singapore.
“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 tourist spend about US$260 billion globally. They are the biggest spenders,” says MRCA president Datuk Seri Garry Chua.
Chua added that tourism is likely to be the largest contributor of GDP worldwide by the 2030s. Its impact on Malaysian retail could contribute to industry growth from the current 10 percent of GDP to 15 percent within the next five years.
The MRCA is estimating an average growth of 6.1 percent during the third quarter of this year compared to the same time last year.
“There is huge potential in the local retail industry, despite concerns of a glut in retail space,” said Chua.
“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.
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