Page 7 - Berita Sunway - Issue 69
P. 7

                ECONOMY                            Sunway Malls & Theme Parks CEO HC Chan   to non-essential retailers for 14 days during
                                                   said that the group has seen a recovery of 60%   Phase 1 of the MCO amounting to RM20 million.
                The COVID-19 outbreak has adversely   to 70% in footfalls and tenants' sales have
                impacted the Malaysian economy and the   recovered  by  30%  to 40%.  Chan  estimates   “In  the short-term,  the sustainability  of the
                economic welfare of Malaysians. According   footfall recovery to hit 75% to 85% by year-end,   retail sector depends on how we can manage
                to Department  of Statistics Malaysia,   and tenants' sales projected to recover 50%   the revival of economic activity and the safety of
                almost 47% of self-employed workers have   to 60% as more sectors such as leisure and   our communities. In the longer run, the industry
                lost their jobs  and for those who still keep   entertainment reopen for business under strict   will need to alter the mall business model. What
                their jobs, 35.5% reported a decrease in   compliance to SOPs.         we will be seeing is the increasing prominence
                income by over 90%.                                                    co-sharing, be it profit, risk or resources
                                                   “Prior to the RMCO, shoppers’ visits were more   between mall operators and retailers. The new
                The overarching challenge for businesses   frequent, shorter, and focused. Interestingly,   maxim is one of shared prosperity and shared
                is weak or falling demand, as consumers   shoppers are no longer confined to visiting   burden. Rental will largely be on percentage of
                spend less due to layoffs, reduced wages   malls only on weekends. There were   sales,” Chan elaborated.
                and earnings, as well as virus infection   times when our footfall on weekdays
                fears, said Professor Dr Yeah Kim Leng,   were higher than  weekends – a new   "Post MCO, Sunway Malls will be focusing
                Professor of Economics at Sunway   trend seen across all our malls,”       on value retailing, with more tactical
                University Business School and Director of   Chan added.                   campaigns. Events will take a backseat
                the Economic Studies Programme at the                                      and will be evaluated on a case-by-case
                Jeffrey Cheah Institute on Southeast Asia.   In May, Sunway Malls launched its   basis to ensure strict adherence of new
                                                   “Your Safe Space, Our Safe Space”            SOPs," he added.
                With lower domestic and overseas   campaign to protect the safety and              “The move towards digital
                demand, affected businesses are cutting   security of Sunway employees,
                costs, adjusting workforce size, or delaying   visitors, and the community.        is seen to be intensified and
                                                                                                   growing in importance too with
                investment and expansion plans to survive                                          the new normal. Post MCO
                the shutdown during the MCO period.   “We  have  to  brace  for  a  new            will release some pent-up
                                                   normal post MCO. Until there is                 demand as the opening of non-
                However, Yeah is optimistic that Malaysia,    absolute certainty that the virus
                with its diversified structure, well-developed   is completely eradicated, social   essentials will see a degree of
                                                                                                   pickup. Much however will be
                resource and manufacturing base and   distancing will be heightened.               driven by economic outlook
                strong financial system, is well-equipped   That is singularly the most            both globally and domestically.
                to weather the looming global recession   important  consideration,”  he           Post COVID-19 will reveal new
                relatively intact.                 said.                                           business opportunities, or
                                                                                                   perhaps enable businesses to
                “Domestic  tourism, hospitality and retail   Recognising  the  economic            deliver differently,” Chan said.
                sectors are recovering as businesses and   impact of the MCO on retailers,
                consumers adjust to public health safety   Chan said the group waived rent         HC Chan,
                requirements mandated by the Ministry of                                           Sunway Malls & Theme Parks
                Health. Some businesses could experience                                           CEO
                pent-up demand as younger consumers
                unleash  spending  that  had  been  held
                back,” Yeah said.                        TAPPING INTO NEW BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES
                                                                 Due to the pandemic, ‘stay at home’, ‘work from home’ and social distancing have
                                               The economic
                Professor Dr Yeah Kim Leng,   recovery pace will depend   become part of the new normal. “Movement restrictions have led consumers
                Sunway University Business                         to migrate in greater numbers to online shopping, mobile banking, and a
                School Professor of      on the nation’s ability to avoid   whole gamut of digital services – home exercises, home cooking and online
                                         a virus resurgence following the
                Economics and  Economic   lifting of movement restrictions as   entertainment,” Yeah added.
                Studies Programme
                                        well as the discovery of an effective
                Director at the         vaccine or treatment, both of which   Businesses are presented with the opportunity to innovate and prosper
                Jeffrey Cheah Institute                              in the ‘new normal’ environment, as there has been an accelerated shift
                on Southeast Asia       are expected within the next six to   towards digitalisation.
                                         12 months. In turn, the pace of
                                          economic recovery will shape   Besides e-commerce and online services, firms could leverage on Industry
                                           business, job, and income   4.0 technologies that include robotics, automation, and artificial intelligence
                                              growth prospects.
                                                                   to reduce the threat of pandemics and other systemic shocks, said Yeah.
                                                                  (Turn to Page 12 to find out more about jumpstarting a business’ online presence)
                                                                          “Businesses could also take advantage of COVID-19-induced
                                                                            changes in work practices to enhance organisational
                                                                             effectiveness,  staff  productivity  and  business  profitability
                                                                              through virtual meetings, online sales channels, ICT-
                                                                               integrated supply chains and global-local sourcing networks
                                                                               that are less prone to disruptions,” he said.
                                                                                  "If there is one lesson that businesses could learn from
                                                                                     the pandemic, it is to maintain capital buffers and
                                                                                      precautionary savings to guard against unexpected
                                                                                        shocks such as COVID-19," Yeah said.

                                                                                                 BERITA SUNWAY   |   JUL—SEP 2020   |  7
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