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Monday, December 22, 2008

Malaysian malls seen growing income further

MALAYSIAN malls are expected to grow their income further in 2009 with more visitors despite the anticipated slower economy.

President of the Malaysian Association for Shopping and Highrise Complex Management (PPK) Joyce Yap said a higher traffic would cushion the decline in spending.

"However, the extent at which they grow would depend on their tenant mix such as whether they are in fashion, food or if they retail home products," she told Business Times in an interview.

According to Yap, even during the 1997/1998 financial crisis, many shopping complexes had in fact recorded an increase in traffic.

This is because during a downturn, consumers tend to look for places to relax, Yap said.

"During the 1997/1998 crisis, business at food and beverage outlets (within malls) shot up. Visitorship continued on an uptrend in malls, although spend per person had declined," she said.

There is usually a shift in priority of what consumers spend on, but they hardly cut down on food.

Malls that tend to perform better are those that are well designed, offer variety and are well managed.

Shopping complexes that aggressively promote and have retailers who offer more than just discounts also do well. These include providing gifts with purchases, free services or have tie-ups with bank cards to offer additional value.

In the current environment, it is also best not to cut promotional budget. Rather, one should look at improving services and having cross promotions within shopping zones.

"Malls within Mutiara Damansara, or within Bandar Utama and those shopping complexes in the Golden Triangle can do cross-promotions," she said.

General manager for marketing at Pavilion KL Kung Suan Ai said she believes the Pavilion will do well in 2009 as it is always working on making the mall attractive.

"In 2009, we will improve our concierge service. We are working on retailers providing delivery services to hotels for purchases made by tourists," she said.

With all these in place and its recent Malaysia Property Award 2008 for Retail Development, given by the Malaysian Chapter of Fiabci, Pavilion hopes to increase the patronage level to 2.4 million a month in 2009 from 2.2 million a month this year.

By Business Times

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