KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 18): Sunway Malls will be rolling out its e-commerce platform on Oct 27, 2021 to complete its physical and digital mall presence.
In a statement on Monday, the mall group operator said the platform, called Sunway eMall.com, comes at a time when online presence has gathered strong traction due to Covid-19.
“The venture into digital space opens up new markets and possibilities for Sunway Malls.
"We are not time and geographical bound,” said Sunway Malls & Theme Park chief executive officer H.C. Chan.
He said Sunway eMall.com will complement its current combined 4.5 million square feet of physical retail space of seven malls.
"It amalgamates our seven physical malls presence into one digital mall.
“Through this exercise, Sunway Mall's portfolio has also grown to eight malls, physically and digitally,” he said.
Chan added that an initial 200 merchants from various trade categories such as fashion, home & living, beauty, health & wellness, food & beverage e-vouchers, and others will be on board its e-commerce platform with 30,000 stock-keeping units (SKUs).
Participating merchants include Sony, Huawei, Sketchers, Li Ning, Braun Buffel, Aldo, L’Occitane, Christy Ng, Hooga and more.
The mall group projects to grow the numbers to 500 merchants with 100,000 SKUs over the next 18 months.
"The official launch of Sunway eMall.com will also enable Sunway Malls to offer an online-to-offline (O2O) journey with the convergence of both online and offline shopping experiences.
“Additionally, what separates pure e-commerce players is the option for in-store collection apart from delivery, which is a further catalyst in driving more footfall into our malls,” said Chan.
It is also anticipating the e-commerce platform to be a contingency against unforeseen geographical or retail sub-sectors lockdown.
Citing a report from tech company Facebook and global management consulting firm Bain & Company, Chan said an estimated 70 million people have transited to shop online in six Southeast Asian countries including Malaysia since the pandemic began.
Facebook and Bain & Company further projected that average online spending will expand by 60% this year from US$238 (RM990) per person in 2020 to US$381 (RM1,585) per digital consumer.
Meanwhile, overall online retail share in Southeast Asia surged from 5% in 2020 to 9% in 2021, the report added.
It also said that over the next five years, Southeast Asia’s e-commerce sales are estimated to grow by 14% per year with online shoppers forecast to reach 380 million by 2026.
Chan said the group’s physical malls have shown signs of good recovery with the complete reopening of the retail sector.
As of October 2021, preliminary indicators have shown 80% traffic normality compared to the same pre-pandemic period of 2019, with shoppers making a strong return to Sunway Malls at the beginning of the fourth quarter.
"The number is expected to pick up pace heading nearer to the year-end festivities.
“Sunway Malls is optimistic that its recovery can be sustained, as Malaysia prepares to move from pandemic to endemic phase with full adherence to safety protocols,” said Chan.
He also said the group expects to attain full pre-pandemic level performance in the near term.