Hari Raya ‘cheer’ for retail industry

KUALA LUMPUR (May 8): The “flagging” retail industry seems to have received a boost owing to the the Hari Raya Adilfitri shopping season, reported The Edge Malaysia.

“Generally, business is recovering. Most retailers are happy that they have been able to clear last year’s stock,” Datuk Ameer Ali Mydin, president of the Bumiputera Retailers Organisation (BRO) and vice-president of the Malaysia Retailers Association, told weekly. It also reported that some retailers have run out of stock.

Jakel Group managing director Datuk Mohamed Faroz Mohamed Jakel “did not expect that the response would be this good for Hari Raya”.

According to the weekly, “some retail industry players are finally seeing a pickup in sales, particularly over the past three weeks, following a 16% contraction in retail sales last year to RM90 billion as consumers stayed home and retail outlets remained shut for the greater part of the year”.

Retail Group Malaysia’s managing director Tan Hai Hsin told the publication that he estimates estimates that shopping for Hari Raya accounts for 18% to 20% of annual sales.

“The Malays are the majority of the population and, during Hari Raya, they have a tradition of buying new clothes, changing furniture, redecorating houses and so on,” he said. He also attributed the increase in sales to “pent-up demand”.

But he also added that “with the MCO [Movement Control Order] imposed in most parts of the Klang Valley, it could affect retail sales in the next one week before Hari Raya” and that the Klang Valley accounts for 60% of the country’s sales.

Mohamed Faroz said that “people were revenge shopping”, based on his “observation of his customers’ shopping patterns in December 2020 during the Recovery MCO”.

He added that if “the movement restrictions this year are less stringent than the first one in March 2020”, Mohamed Faroz projected that Jakel Trading Sdn Bhd, the group’s largest textile unit, “may be able to achieve between RM500 million and RM600 million in sales this year, from RM452 million in FY2020”.

“I am optimistic that, for 2021, we should do better than in 2020. We are very happy. Most retailers are able to clear their stock from 2020,” Ameer Ali told the business publication.

“We are still not doing as well as we did in 2019, but we did manage to clear our Hari Raya stock from last year. In fact, there was a shortage of Raya products this year. We did not want to take the risk of stocking up,” he added about Mydin Mohamed Holdings Bhd.

He said that dates, cookies and baju raya were some of the products that ran out of stock.

Read the full report in this week’s The Edge Malaysia

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