The Challenges in Oversupply of Malls
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The number of shopping centres are on the increase and connectivity to reach them has also improved via road and rail transportation.
This, at the same time, has increased the competition among the malls.
How will mall owners cope with this competition, and will they take advantage of innovations in connectivity and technology?
As an answer to this, Malaysia Shopping Malls Association president Tan Sri Eddy Chen proposed that those planning to build a new mall should conduct a more robust market research.
"Gone are the days where you can build and sell, it is more challenging now and you have to be more careful.
"It may even be good to take a step back and restudy your location, there may be new areas with fast population growth" he said.
Chen added that the local plan and the master plan must be gazetted.
"It doesn't make commercial sense to have so many shopping complexes but people build it because they can.
"We cannot deny that there are malls not doing well, and they may close down if the economy does not improve" he added.
SStwo Mall is one example of a shopping complex that did not survive.
Chen was speaking to reporters at a seminar titled "Breathing New Life into Mallsâ€ organised by the Association at Sunway Resort Hotel and Spa.
Over 100 representatives from malls nationwide attended the seminar where industry experts who are senior mall managers and digital marketers, presented topics on the new shopping revolution.
Also present at the press conference where members of the association's board of advisers namely See Hoy Chan Holdings director Tan Sri Teo Chiang Kok, Area Management Sdn Bhd senior adviser Kumar Tharmalingam, Pavilion KL retail chief executive officer Datuk Joyce Yap, and RCMC Sdn Bhd consultant director Richard Chan.
Teo said there was a lack of information-sharing from local authorities such as approvals of applications for development.
He urged the authorities not to keep everything a secret because suddenly people find "18 malls in the area.â€
Yap concurred by saying that statistics of the number of malls located in an area should be updated.
Echoing her sentiments Chan said: "Our demographics is very outdated, some 10 years behind time. Sometimes we need to conduct our own research. Some councils are quite updated, some are not" he said, adding that personnel from all departments sometimes do not communicate and made it difficult for one to get the required information.
He added that it is important not just for mall operators to have relevant data but it would also benefit the authorities too, especially when it came to traffic management.
"Each developer will widen the road in their project but how about the main road and overall connection?
"If several big projects are being built in the same area, it will affect traffic and accessibility" he said.