DESPITE the number of COVID-19 cases in Malaysia continues to rise, the shopping malls under Sunway Malls have been enjoying higher traffic and sales recovery since the Government began easing restrictions around the nation.
According to the latest March 2021 figures, both traffic and sales had achieved 90% and 95% normalcy respectively in comparison to the same period in March 2019.
The success is largely attributed to the mall group’s expertise in mall property management across the dimensions of financial, operations, leasing and marketing in responding to the COVID-19 crisis.
Although most malls in the country still managed to generate strong traffic every festive season, this year’s festive season got off to a muted start when Malaysia saw six of its states re-enter the movement control order (MCO2.0), namely Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Johor, Melaka and Sabah, in mid-January.
Coincidentally, all of the malls under the group are located in the affected states.
“Given the weak start to 2021, Sunway Malls began re-strategising to deal with the repercussions of MCO2.0. Having gained a significant amount of insights on behavioural economics, behavioural psychology, travelling pattern and spending pattern enable better intervention strategies to be deployed,’ said Sunway Malls & Theme Parks CEO HC Chan.
According to Chan, among the significant focus area that the group concentrated on were to drive returning traffic, particularly capitalising on revenge spending, deferred festive buying and pent-up demand for F&B dining.
Similarly, emphasis was given to value-retailing amidst the weak consumer sentiments and sluggish economy.
“We saw the upward trajectory of our tenant sales since we ran value-retailing campaigns and we double up the effort, resulting in higher recovery of tenant sales and traffic,” Chan added.
“We had certainly grown in experience and tested both our capability and resolve. We are also fortunate that businesses were able to adapt very quickly. By adopting the maxim of shared prosperity and shared burden with our retailers, we have certainly built a stronger relation with our retailers and other stakeholders to go through the MCO2.0 again,” he continued.
Since the first MCO, the mall group has reported less than 1% of its retailers shutting down their operations. But now, Sunway Malls welcomed 200 new shop opening with an NLA of 700,000 sq ft across its malls last year equivalent to a normal size mall with 100% occupancy, a healthy retail space demand driven by the growing emergence and expansion of Asian retail brands.
Recognising the brand’s success, Sunway Malls recently emerged a big winner as two of its malls bagged gold awards as Malaysia’s best managed malls.
Sunway Pyramid won EdgeProp’s best managed property in retail category 10 years an above, whilst Sunway Velocity Mall won best managed property in retail category below 10 years.
As a group, Sunway is a triple gold winner with Sunway Geo Tower also recognised as a best managed property in Malaysia. The office building won gold in the single-owned office in a mixed strata below 10 years category. – April 16, 2021