Long way to go for retail sector recovery

Long way to go for retail sector recovery
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KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 15): Retail footfall throughout the country has been significantly affected during this Covid-19 pandemic, which is far from over, seeing the recent surge in infection rates. 

Property consultants say it’ll take at least another two years before sales rates can get back to pre-pandemic levels.

“While local consumption levels can bounce back with the rate of vaccination, tourist-related business will take time to recover. Changed work habits are also going to modify and affect the pattern of consumption,” says Savills Malaysia associate director of retail services Murli Menon. 

He adds that some malls or retail outlets located in mainly commercial office districts are going to have to change their offerings and strategies to recover weekday footfall and business.

Retail Group Malaysia managing director Tan Hai Hsin says it is critical to allow retail stores in the Klang Valley to open soon as they account for 60% of the total retail turnover in Malaysia. “Even though eight states and one federal territory have progressed beyond the NRP Phase 1, they do not account for a large share of the retail market in Malaysia,” he says.

Meanwhile, as retailing today and in the future are omni-channel, CBRE | WTW group managing director Foo Gee Jen notes that the evolution of physical retail space may occur as retailers re-strategise in terms of space function and focus on the quality of certain physical stores for customer experience while maintaining their online platforms. 

“This evolution may have an impact in terms of space layout and size requirement.” He expects to see more self-checkout stores and dark stores, which only cater for pick-ups and delivery, in the Klang Valley.

Read more about it in City & Country, the property section of The Edge Malaysia weekly. The Aug 16 edition is out now.

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