I do not believe retail Malaysia is on a downtrend. It’s consolidating. Bigger and better malls are attracting bigger and better crowds. Smaller malls or retail spaces are slowly dying. On an overall basis, the numbers are still growing. Read here: Higher end retail still okay? Growing 3-4% Anyway, many colleagues disagree even though many bought new handbags, smartphones and new clothes occasionally. Many would also share with me that their new clothes are cheap because it comes with 50 percent discount. Honestly, if they wish to save more, it’s best to continue wearing the same clothes they have today. Buying new ones are not necessary, actually.
In an article in The Star, Retail Group Malaysia (RGM) managing director Tan Hai Hsin shares that Q1 2016 versus Q1 2015 is likely to have contracted by 0.4 percent based on their estimation. This was because of a weak February 2016 and a strong Q1 2015 as everyone wanted to buy before GST started. Q2 2016 should be better than Q2 2015, growing between 2 – 3 percent. He pointed out that with Ramadan beginning in June, it would stimulate retail sales during the last month of Q2. He then used one word to describe the retail sector. he said it’s RESILIENT.
Then he shared a few positive signs. Cinema goers have been more willing to buy tickets, probably due to many big movie releases. Food and beverage (F&B) sector has been doing well and some people are still buying six-figure items. F&B outlets are also growing especially the cafes for ‘expensive’ coffees, bakery cafes, fine-dining restaurants, overseas chain restaurants and even food trucks.This proved that urban Malaysians are still willing to spend. (Actually, this just proves that people continue to feel confident enough to spend or they just do not know how to save.) According to the National Property Information Centre’s (Napic) 2015 Property Market Report, the retail sub-sector recorded a slight improvement in occupancy from 81.8% in 2014 to 82.4% in 2015.
Still believe all is okay? Or you would like to believe what some my colleagues say but does not actually preach? Haha. It’s okay. Keep your job by working hard. Save more money by spending less. Invest in more property by finding undervalued ones. Life is how we make of it. A friend’s course mate who managed to enter the oil & gas industry many years ago were driving great car, having great holidays and well lost his job many months back. Suddenly he realised not everything is great anymore. When we have it, do our best with it. Happy believing.
written on 23 May 2016
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