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Uncertainty is not a good sign, that’s why we need to do something about it.

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I shop online every other day. I have also started to visit malls again here in Selangor / KL. However, when the question arises as to whether I would stop visiting retail stores or only order food deliveries, the answer is an easy one, NO. Then again, not everyone is like me I guess. There were news that more than 200,000 small businesses which had to close during the Movement Control Order (MCO) are now facing an uncertain future because consumers are not buying non-essential goods.

Article in themalaysianreserve.com Retail Group Malaysia (RGM) MD Tan Hai Hsin says that ninety percent of the closures during the MCO were stall-based businesses. He said, “There are many (that were closed permanently), but we can’t establish a number. (It is) difficult to establish the figure at the moment.”

“Malaysian consumers did not rush to buy non-essential goods when shops reopened. We did not get a V-shape recovery. We are now going through a U-shape recovery.” Tan also shared that the very last time Malaysia’s retail industry had a negative growth was in 1998. In that year, retail industry contracted by 20 percent. Please do read the full comprehensive views from Tan here: Article in themalaysianreserve.com

I think the question we should also be able to ask would be if all these stall-based retail businesses have also started to sell what they sold via online. Frankly, if I am selling non-essential goods and the mall is closed, I could not only be crying at home, better do something about it. Whether it’s Shopee or Lazada or a host of many other online shopping sites, just start to sell to the whole world instead of just the retail stall.

Second question we should also ask would be whether this trend of not buying non-essential goods will be here to stay. If it will be, then perhaps the things which the stalls are selling could also mirror the more popular items versus what they are currently selling today. Actually, it’s not these stalls which will have to keep changing. Most businesses will also keep changing because the consumers are changing. Even working professionals have to keep improving because they are no longer competing with their peers in Malaysia. They are competing with anyone who could do their job better for less money everywhere in the world. As for now, I will definitely continue my shopping at physical stores too. Count on me for that little support.

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Next suggested article: Shopping malls will evolve to survive

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