indepth

Always be ready to manage different scenarios

Chris Chong, IOI Properties Group Bhd’s Mall Operations senior general manager

"All roadshows, activities and events were stopped during the first MCO and subsequently CMCO from March 18 until June 14, 2020. We have resumed a few roadshows and selected activities with social distancing in place from June 15 until Oct 13, 2020. However, all roadshows and activities were halted again from Oct 14, 2020, with the imposition of CMCO 2.0.

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In view of the current pandemic situation, we have provided relief assistance with more than RM40 million rental rebates since the first imposition of MCO on March 18, 2020. Together we will overcome this challenging time.

We continue to support our tenants with rental rebates, interest-free packages and have stepped up our support to them via advertisements on social media, physical advertisements, ongoing online activation as well as mall-wide promotions for tenants to participate on a complimentary basis. We also offer free parking and gifts with purchase promotions to attract shoppers.

We have managed to maintain our malls as Covid-free thus far, with cooperation from our tenants, strict adherence to SOPs set by authorities, good enforcement by our team as well as high standards of cleaning and disinfecting practices.

The pandemic has caused many sectors to shut down or be placed under quarantine for the safety of its workforce. We are also facing the same challenges as we emphasise the importance of staff health and safety. However, all of our frontliners remain steadfast in their duties at our malls, while the rest of the support team members work from home.

We remain resilient and are prepared to manage our workforce under different scenarios while maintaining efficiency and high service levels to our shoppers, tenants and business associates as the mall remains open throughout this difficult time.

We remain optimistic and hopeful that the overall market sentiment will soon turn around for the better, gradually.

For the shopping mall industry, we foresee that business will recover over time with the government and fellow Malaysians working united towards economic recovery. We have been working closely with all our business associates and tenants as partners instead of the conventional landlord-tenant relationship.

For our shoppers, we are bridging gaps with closer communication, taking time to find out their needs and their priorities by obtaining their feedback through social media communication and in person. We remain accessible to our business partners and customers with improved response time to show our sincerity and concern towards them, keeping them in our priority list throughout these challenging months.

The past eight months have been challenging and the situation may remain so for a while longer. Nevertheless, we will remain resilient, stay innovative and generate new ideas as we manage the implications of Covid-19 in the best possible manner for the interest of our tenants and our customers.”

This story first appeared in the EdgeProp.my e-Pub on Nov 6, 2020. You can access back issues here.

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