KOTA KINABALU: Giant Hypermarket owner, GCH Retail (M) Sdn Bhd has dismissed false information that some of its outlets in Sabah are closing down.
The information has gone viral in the social media like WhatsApp and Facebook over the weekend, following news that some Giant stores in Peninsula Malaysia are facing closure.
The outlets, which were implicated in the said viral message complete with photos showing customers at the clearance sales, were the Giant Kolombong and Giant Superstore Megalong, Donggongon.
In a brief response to an inquiry on the issue sent via WhatsApp on Saturday, Corporate Affairs Assistant Manager of Sabah, Sarawak and Brunei Giant Hypermarket, Annie Johnny, clarified that none of its outlets in Sabah are closing down, while the Giant Kolombong outlet is currently having its stock clearance sales.
The false information on the fate of the Kolombong branch sounds rather convincing to many as the company recently announced that five of its Giant supermarkets will shut their doors on November 5, following a decision not to extend their leasing contracts. The five outlets were located at Sri Manjung, Sg Petani, Shah Alam City Centre Mall, Sibu and Selayang Lama.
In an official statement issued to the media, it is noted that the decision to shut down the stores was part of the efforts to "relook onto our operations and to increase its effectiveness and productivityâ€.
The closure comes as Malaysia's retail sector continues to struggle with sluggish sales. Industry players are foreseeing a further weakening as consumers continue to tighten their belts in an uncertain economy.
The supermarket and hypermarket sub-sector reported a worse-than-expected decline in growth rate of 4.8 percent during the first quarter of 2017, the worst among the retail sub-sectors.
Malaysia Retailers Association had said that department stores and supermarket operators are expected to experience a further drop in sales by 2.5 percent in the third quarter of the year.
Recently, the Malay Business Council revealed that the introduction of the goods and services tax (GST) in 2015 had led to the closure of several Malay retail businesses.