Bleak outlook for retail sector

The prospect of the retail sector may look gloomy during the second Movement Control Order (MCO 2.0) period as most retailers are categorised under non-essential industry, therefore have no permission from authorities to operate.

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In the Virtual Fireside Chat entitled “Impact of MCO 2.0 on the Malaysian Property Sector”, which was held on Jan 19, Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association Malaysia (Rehda) president Datuk Soam Heng Choon said it’s better for developers and investors to review their decision on whether to open new shopping malls.

He added the retail business would only come back when the MCO is over, based on observation from December last year, when the malls were packed with people.

Soam also mentioned the prospect for office property is uncertain due to the new norm. “Because of physical distancing, people may need a bigger office if they want everybody to be in the office. But working from home is different for everyone. Productivity is different for everyone and it also depends on the [individual] industry.”

Meanwhile, Soam said the outlook for industrial and warehouse properties looks promising as investors are keener to explore the sector due to the increasingly high demand in e-commerce.

This story first appeared in the e-weekly on Jan 22, 2021. You can access back issues here.

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