KUALA LUMPUR (March 8): Malaysia’s retail sales in October to December 2020 (4Q20) contracted 19.7% from a year earlier after the second conditional movement control order (CMCO) was enforced in the Klang Valley on Oct 14, 2020, according to the latest Malaysia Retail Sales Report released by Retail Group Malaysia today.
The Klang Valley accounted for 60% of the country’s retail sales. Retail sales were further dragged down when the CMCO was later extended to include all states except Sarawak until the end of 2020, according to the report.
Traditionally, the fourth quarter is a very strong quarter for retailers due to the year-end holidays, Christmas shopping and back-to-school shopping, the report said.
“Third-wave Covid-19, restrictions on interstate travel, restrictions on inter-district travel, working from home as well as the delay in school opening led to significant reduction in shopping traffic in malls, commercial centres and food and beverage (F&B) outlets located throughout the country,” Retail Group Malaysia managing director Tan Hai Hsin said in the Malaysia Retail Sales Report.
The retail report, which for the past 23 years based its data on surveys with members of the Malaysia Retailers Association (MRA), now includes a bigger pool of retailers after incorporating survey results of members of the Malaysia Retail Chain Association (MRCA).
This means new sub-sectors have also been added, including mini-markets, convenience stores, furniture and furnishings, home improvements, electrical and electronics (E&E), cafés and restaurants, and F&B kiosks and stalls.
In 4Q20, the retail sub-sector that was the worst hit was the fashion and fashion accessories segment, which contracted 49.6%. Another segment that was hit badly was the department store category, which slumped 44.7%, according to the Malaysia Retail Sales Report.
Other retail categories which also shrank was children and baby products (28.2%), department stores cum supermarkets (26.8%), supermarkets and hypermarkets (19.6%), F&B outlets (cafés and restaurants) (18.8%), F&B (kiosks and stalls) (14.9%), pharmacy and personal care (11.7%) and other specialty retail stores (5.2%), the report said.
On a positive note, at least two retail sub-sectors expanded. The furniture and furnishing, home improvements and E&E segment grew 11.7%, while the mini-market, convenience store and cooperative segment grew 10.2%, it said.