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Online shopping will NOT kill malls. Better malls will kill uncompetitive malls.

I disagree that more malls meant all malls will suffer. Sorry yeah, demand and supply does not work fairly. 10 malls and 10 million visitors meant every mall will get 1 million visitors on average. 20 malls does not mean all the malls will now get 500,000 visitors. In fact, the better malls will slowly kill the uncompetitive ones. This is the actual scenario and we should stop getting carried away by looking at just the number of malls and then conclude the whole retail scene to be negative.

The stock market may have 100 stocks and 1 million transactions and it does not mean every stock will get the same number of transactions. In fact even when it reaches 200 stocks or 300 stocks for example, some of the unattractive counters would soon be forgotten, that’s all. The existing darlings or even the new darlings may now occupy most attention and gets the most number of transactions.

I could go on about car models, about property market but I hope we understand the same idea now. Let’s focus on the notion of online shopping killing malls. I am an ardent Shopee fan. I receive deliveries EVERY WEEK. So, if we have statistics on frequent online shoppers, I am very sure I am categorised as one. The amount is getting bigger too because now it seems that there are so many things to buy online.

Now about malls. I still go to malls EVERY WEEK. MY wife who is a home minister goes to the malls a few times every week. She prefers to do her grocery shopping in a comfortable environment plus it’s way easier to find parking versus circling around some popular neighbourhoods when she wants to visit the wet market for example. So, if my family is considered an average Malaysian household, the position of both the online platforms and the malls are safe.

Let’s look at some numbers from an article in

“National Property Information Centre’s third-quarter of 2019 (3Q19) figures showed there were 1,035 shopping complexes in the country, offering 16.42 million sq m of retail space or the size of 63,300 tennis courts. It is expected that 39 more shopping complexes will come on board with total retail space of 1.52 million sq m and another 27 shopping complexes with 1.03 million sq m are being planned.”

Sunway Malls and Theme Parks CEO HC Chan said the outlook for shopping malls this year will remain challenging, but certain ‘resilient’ segments of retail will continue to thrive. He said, “The food and beverage segment is going to continue its steady 30% growth in some malls. Another trend that we are seeing is the rise of co-working hubs in shopping malls, experiential spaces and themed playgrounds.”

In its recent report, Retail Group Malaysia (RGM) has cut its annual retail sales growth forecast for 2019 from 4.4% to 3.7%. Please do refer to read the full Article

We need to stop looking at just the huge number and then think everything is going to be negative. It’s way better to start breaking down the malls into the performing ones and the non-performing ones and then track the number of visitors to these performing ones every year. When we do this, then of course it can be clearer that online shopping is killing malls? By the way, I think everyone knows that online shopping is super huge in China. They have deliveries as fast as within a few hours. When you visit their cities in the near future, feel free to drop by their popular malls too and then decide if online which is fluorishing in China is indeed killing its malls. Happy understanding and shopping.

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Next suggested article:  6 things malls could think about

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Charles Tan The Founder The Writer Kopiandproperty
Charles Tan

Charles is Founder of He writes from his investment experience for the the past 20 years in investments including property, stock, unit trust and more as well as readings and conversations with many property gurus in the industry. is an independent property blog which is not affiliated to any media company, property developer or even real estate agencies.


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