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Challenges Facing the Retail Industry in Malaysia


With the current economic climate, it’s no wonder that retail brands and shopping malls in Malaysia are facing a very tough environment.


Below is an excerpt from the article on

The weekly’s writer Chua Sue-Ann wrote that the shopping mall business has come under pressure due to a confluence of factors, like oversupply of retail space, lower tourist arrivals, weakness in domestic retail spend, lacklustre consumer sentiment, intense competition for tenants, and changing consumer preferences and behaviour.

Retail consultants said they cannot remember a more challenging time for shopping malls in Malaysia. Like Savills Malaysia managing director Allan Soo. Not even the 1997/98 financial crisis impact dragged on as long as it did now.

“After 1998, things were back up pretty fast,” he told the weekly. Some malls even opened almost immediately after the crisis, including Suria KLCC (opened in May 1998) and Mid Valley Megamall (November 1999). “This time is the toughest. There are more variables, more competition and real oversupply issues. It’s going to be much harder work,” he said.

At the same time, Malaysia’s retail industry saw a 4.4% year-on-year contraction in sales in 1Q2016, compared with a 4.6% growth a year earlier that was buoyed by pre-goods and services tax buying, according to data from the Retail Group Malaysia.

Read the full article here:



While neighbouring malls Tropicana City Mall and Atria Shopping Gallery enjoy a higher occupancy rate, new malls like Glo Damansara (pictured above) and CentreSTAGE in Section 13 Petaling Jaya are still grappling with lots of empty lots.

Visitors to The Strand Mall in Kota Damansara, Sunway Nexis Mall, and even Sunway Giza which has been around for years will notice that there are many unoccupied lots! The newly redeveloped Jaya Shopping Centre suffers the same fate especially on its upper floors as does Citta Mall in Ara Damansara.


Amcorp Mall in Petaling Jaya

Amcorp Mall in Petaling Jaya

I used to work in the office tower next to Amcorp Mall back when I was with Mediacorp Malaysia in 2008/09 and on most days would have lunch with my colleagues next door in the mall. Back then although the mall didn’t have the top retailers as compared to the newer malls, at least the occupancy was pretty high with all sorts of eclectic shops selling everything from rare stamps to models of Transformers and everything in between. Of course, the most useful tenant to me were the various restaurants and the McDonald’s.

A recent visit to Amcorp Mall this year however revealed quite a dismal scene.







Empty lots in Quill City Mall

Empty lots in Quill City Mall

Even shopping malls in central Kuala Lumpur are not spared. I frequently use Quill City Mall along Jalan Sultan Ismail as a place to get some work done whenever I have appointments or events to attend at Renaissance Kuala Lumpur Hotel, Sheraton Imperial or The Row. When it first opened, Quill City Mall had numerous cafes offering free Wi-Fi however to my dismay, lately more and more cafes and retails outlets in the mall are shuttering possibly due to the low shopper traffic.

Quite sadly, the mall has become a graveyard of shops which have folded.

Quite sadly, the mall has become a graveyard of shops which have folded.

I suspect that most tenants are on a three year contract however with low sales it's quite impossible to sustain a business bleeding cash every month.

I suspect that most tenants are on a three year contract however with low sales it’s quite impossible to sustain a business bleeding cash every month.

While some shopping malls do run advertisements in an attempt to draw customers, advertising in traditional media can be ineffective and expensive as more and more people adopt digital media as their main source of information.

With that in mind, forward-thinking retail brands and shopping mall owners have begun to look at digital media as a more cost-effective option to drive shoppers to their stores/ mall.

Malaysia’s Hottest Bloggers is a digital media community that was formed in 2011 and we have worked with many notable brands including Montblanc, Panasonic, Sony, Celcom, Leica, Nivea, Chevrolet, Olympus, Lenovo, Casio Baby G, Carlsberg, Asahi, Johnnie Walker, GUESS Watches, Poh Kong, Dolce & Gabbana, Hugo Boss and Gucci fragrances, Rimmel London, Ricoh, and many more top level lifestyle brands.

We provide celebrity key opinion leaders, social media influencers as well as prominent bloggers for publicity on Facebook, Instagram and blogs, reaching a potential audience of more than 5.8 million fans/ followers/ readers.

Below are some recent projects that Malaysia’s Hottest Bloggers has done for retail brands/ shopping malls:


Comedy & Food Festival at Atria Shopping Gallery

Atria Shopping Gallery Damansara Jaya (29)

Read Sharon’s post at:


Evergreen Christmas at 1 Utama Shopping Centre

Evergreen Christmas at 1 Utama Shopping Centre

Read Mei Sze’s post at:


Atre Pop Up Store at Pavilion Kuala Lumpur


BALL Watch Boutique Launch at 1 Utama Shopping Centre

Read Arisa’s post here –



Read Sharon’s post here –


Haagen Dazs

Read Kelly Siew’s post here –


Fitness First

Read Anerly’s post here –



Read my post here –


For more info on how we can assist your mall/ brand with cost-effective and engaging advertising, contact MHB’s Account Manager Elaine Tan at

For press releases or event invites, email me at

For photography services, email Andy Kho at




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