Contributed by Tan Hai Hsin
MALAYSIA shopping centres are dying! This has been said by many in the past two years, including real estate professionals and the general public. According to them, online retailing will replace shopping centres in the immediate future.
However, shopping centres will not close down due to the exponential growth of e-commerce. Not in China, not in the United States, and not in Malaysia.
Changes in the retail market and shopping behaviour of Malaysians over the last decade has led to adjustments within the mall.
Some trades such as video store, music store, large bookstore, gift shop, computer speciality store, handphone store and others are no longer critical for shopping centres.
Other trades enjoy a higher percentage of floor area in recent years. The floor area dedicated to food and beverage outlets has increased from 10% to 30%.
Large-format fashion stores such as H&M, Mango, Zara, Uniqlo, Padini Concept Store, Brands Outlet, HLA, LC Waikiki, Max Fashion, YFS and others are also invading the prime area of shopping centres. New Malaysian players include LOL, Good2U, The Blue and 7dayz.
Large-format discount store such as Daiso, Mr DIY, Jalan Jalan Japan and home speciality stores such as SSF and Kaison are becoming crowd-pullers in shopping centres.
Bigger supermarkets that 30,000 sq ft and above as compared to 20 years ago are now found in new shopping centres rather than hypermarkets that are 100,000 sq ft and above.
New entertainment components have been introduced to shopping centres recently. There are District 21 in IOI City Mall, The Rift in Mid Valley Megamall, FlowRider and AirRider in 1 Utama.
Owners of shopping centres who are also involved in property developments set up property sales galleries, including WCT sales gallery in Paradigm Mall, OSK Property sales gallery in The Atria and LBS Bina sales gallery in M3 Mall.
More services are now found in a shopping centre to fill up space. New types of services include medical clinic, dental clinic, skin centre, eye centre and other specialist centres.
Many online retailers are setting up shops in shopping centres, and more will do so in the next few years.
Christy Ng has five brick-and-mortar stores in Mid Valley, 1 Utama, MyTown, Jaya One and AEON Tebrau. FashionValet has three physical stores in Bangsar Village, Pavilion and IOI City Mall. Twenty3 has five physical stores in Bangsar Village, Atria, Publika, Sunway Pyramid and Gurney Paragon. Bawal Aidijuma has 22 retail outlets in which many are set up in shopping centres.
Poplook has three outlets in The Curve, Setia City Mall and Sogo. Reebonz has set up their physical store in Lot 10. Finelycup is an online lingerie retailer with a store in Mytown shopping centre.
Redtick started as an online grocery store, and now they have three physical supermarkets, including one in Setia Walk Mall.
XiaoMi handphone can now be purchased through their physical store in shopping malls in major cities of Malaysia.
Jeoel is an online jewellery store, and now they have four physical stores located in the Klang Valley shopping malls.
More community facilities are now found within shopping centres. They include children playground, library, store for the donation of used goods, recycle centre etc.
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