Johor Bahru attracting lots of foreign retailers! People and economy.

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It’s safe to say that if I am a foreign retailer brand and coming into Malaysia for the very first time, Kuala Lumpur would be a natural start. The first reason is of course because that’s where majority of all brands are. The more ‘profitable’ reason is that that’s where the population growth is. If we intend to sell, it’s best to sell where there is a huge pool of potential customers. Once the brand starts gaining acceptance and some profits, it may then expand to other cities followed by towns etc. That is why when we go to malls in the smaller cities, the brands they have would be the same brands that malls in Kuala Lumpur would already have but not vice-versa. We have a good news for Malaysia. Johor Bahru is now a strong magnet when it comes to attracting foreign retailers.

Full article in TheMalaysianReserve here. According to the article, the reason JB starts to become a top choice for foreign retailers include the city’s increasing population with the mega property development projects, as well as its more robust economy. According to Retail Group Malaysia (RGM) MD Tan Hai Hsin, JB is now a starting point for many retailers before they venture to other places in Malaysia. He said, “A majority of them come from Taiwan, followed by South Korea. The top categories are food and beverages, and fashion and accessories. We have also noticed that many foreign retailers who opened their first store in Johor Baru tend to do well there. From there, they move to the Klang Valley and other places in Malaysia.” He added that in terms of concept, new entry and even occupancy rate, the city’s retail market does not lose to the Klang Valley.

He then shared this observation. “It is common to see a shop being open for six months and closed six months later in Johor Baru, but a new shop with almost the same concept will replace it immediately.” (Vibrant scene even if that also shows that it’s not sure profit with opening of any retail outlet)  The other advantage that JB has would be because it’s right next to Singapore. This attracts a high number of visitors from Singapore during weekends, which helps boost its retail market. Tan expects the trend of foreign retailers coming into JB to continue because there are big shopping malls such as Capital 21, MidValley Southkey Megamall and Toppen Shopping Centre slated to open in the city soon. RGM expects retail sales to rise 4.7% year-on-year this year to RM104.4 billion based on 1Q18 projections. Full article in TheMalaysianReserve here.  

Happy shopping.

written on 2 April 2018

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