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Saturday, June 13, 2009

Pavilion KL – meeting needs and demands

Pavilion KL has been earmarked by the Tourism Ministry as a tourism asset, testimony to the value it brings to the Golden Triangle and its surrounding areas.

AS the first employee of Kuala Lumpur Pavilion Sdn Bhd when she became its leasing and marketing director nine years ago, chief executive officer for retail, Joyce Yap, certainly knows what it takes to turn a shopping centre into an award-winning destination.

Joyce Yap... The aim is to build the best retail landmark for the city

She was involved in the project planning and designing of the integrated Pavilion KL development from day one.

Yap came on board Kuala Lumpur Pavilion in 2000 and was involved with the project planning and designing team to conceptualise the layout and positioning plans for the shopping centre.

“Right from the project’s conception, we abide by the principle of ‘form follow function’ which needs an indepth understanding of how a retail centre should function and be operated to cater to the needs and demands of all the stakeholders.

“There are many moving targets involved and we are still improving on our hardwares and softwares that include the building facility, environment, customer service, retail mix and merchandise,” she relates in a recent interview.

Yap says the bosses’ priority then was to put together a strong and high calibre team to translate their plans and vision for Pavilion KL into reality.

“The aim is to build the best retail landmark for the city of Kuala Lumpur. We have taken pains to ensure that all our planning, designs and construction are of world-class standards, comparable with the best in the world,” she adds.

The shopping centre opened its doors in October 2007 and a year later, it took home the FIABCI Malaysia Property Award 2008 under the retail category, which qualified it to enter the world-level FIABCI Prix d’Excellence.

On May 29, it brought home the industry’s Oscar – the FIABCI Prix d’Excellence Award 2009, also under the retail category. China’s Shanghai Wanda Plaza in Shanghai emerged as the second best winner.

With the award, Pavilion Kuala Lumpur is now on the map of world-class shopping centres. Other past winners from Malaysia include 1-Utama and Suria KLCC.

The prestigious award recognises projects that excel in the areas of architecture and design, development and construction, community benefits and environmental impact, and financial and marketing.

Yap says Pavilion KL is the first retail centre in Kuala Lumpur to feature sleek and ultra-modern street front duplex stores and home to flagship stores of international designer brands.

“We are currently operating at 100% occupancy with a total 450 tenants. Plans are afoot to expand the retail space by another 30,000 sq ft through the exercise of space planning.

“New stores scheduled to open in the shopping centre in the coming months include international brands like TUMI, Van Laack Swarovski, and Austin Chase Coffee,” she adds.

Yap says international shoppers should not forget Kuala Lumpur as a value-for-money shopping destination that offers a great variety of brands and shopping experience.

“In terms of retail infrastructure, Kuala Lumpur is already at par with other cities like London, Tokyo, Singapore and Hong Kong.

“Malaysia offers the cheapest branded cameras and watches although for certain branded fashion products, our prices are about 5% to 10% higher than the Hong Kong Price Index. The country also has some of the finest airports, roads, hospitals, golf courses and international schools.”

Yap stresses that to give a boost to the country’s retail potential, private retail players and the Government should work closely to package all the resources and promote them to the world.

By The Star (by Angie NG)

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