The rebirth of yesterday's malls and another...

08 June 2015

Despite weaker consumer sentiments resulting from April's GST implementation, 3 new malls were opened last weekend, timed to coincide with the beginning of the mid-year school holidays. The Mall in KL and Atria at Damansara Jaya re-opened on 28 May 2015. KL's first outlet mall, the Mitsui Outlet Park, opened near KLIA on 30 May 2015 wrapping Q2 2015's major retail events.

The refurbishment and renamed Sunway Putra Mall by the Sunway Group has a net lettable area of 620,000 sq ft over 8 floors and is anchored by Cold Storage. It now boasts a coterie of mainstream fashion brands, including Mango, Cotton On, Uniqlo, Padini, and Brands Outlet, plus speciality stores such as Parenthood Superstore and Sports, along with TGV cinemas. With some significant consumer and demographic shifts, plus increased competition in the recent past, it will be interesting to see how this once most successful of malls will face with its new management and merchandise offers.

Atria Shopping Gallery, located within the mature residential neighbourhood of Damansara Jaya has finally opened its doors, while the 2 towers of SOFO suites atop the mall are still under construction. Atria, a historic landmark in Petaling Jaya back in the 1980s, was acquired by OSK Property Holdings Berhad (OSK) in 2007 for RM75 million and was closed for major retrofit and redevelopment in 2012. The newly opened Atria Shopping Gallery is owned and managed by OSK, and now provides a larger total net lettable area of 470,000 sq ft.

OSK has got it right in curating a strong mix of F&B and lifestyle tenants to cater to one of Petaling Jaya's best middle-income catchments. Anchored by the very successful Village Grocer supermarket, the mall has a good selection of the latest and some of the better F&B tenants in the country, including some new-to-market names like Spitalfields Restobar, Artistry and Pizzolo. Some orginal tenants have returned, like Dave's Deli and Esquire Kitchen. In Petaling Jaya's saturated retail landscape, Atria will be fighting head-on with other neighbourhood malls like Tropicana City Mall, as well as the upcoming GLO Damansara and the Starling Boutique Mall in Damansara Uptown. It does look like this mall is well-designed, with its middle0income positioning and an excellent linear layout, so it may well stand the test of time.

The Mitsui Outlet Park (MOP) KLIA, jointly developed by Japan's second largest developer Mitsui Fudosan CO., Ltd and Malaysia Airport Holdings Berhad, had its soft opening on 30 May 2015. Brands which have opened their outlet concept store in MOP include Asics, Bonia, Delsey, Dorothy Perkins, Dr Martens, Karen Millen, Miss Selfridge, New Balance, Superdry, Topman, Topshop, Triumph, Truddy & Teddy, Under Armour, United Colors of Benetton, and Zwilling J.A. Henckels. The first phase of the MOP opened with a net lettable area of approximately 260,000 sq ft, and is expected to have 473,000 sq ft upon completion. The enclosed 2-storey mall is fully air-conditioned.

The MOP enjoys first-runner status as the first outlet mall within Greater KL, opening ahead of The Horizon Group's KL International Outlets (KLIO) and Genting Malaysia's joint venture with Simon Property Group, the Genting Premium Outlets. Other outlet malls planned within the Central region, just outside Greater KL, include The Two in Rawang, the Freeport A'Famosa Outlet Village in Alor Gajah and the Sunway Ipoh Premium Outlet.

According to Savills Malaysia Research, another 4 million sq ft of retail space is expected to be completed by year-end, the larger malls of which will be the Empire City Mall in Damansara and Sunway Velocity in Cheras. At least 5 more malls are expected to be completed in 2015, barring construction delays.

Upcoming new malls in Greater KL expected for completion in 2015

Mall Size (sq ft)
Empire City 1,800,000
Sunway Velocity 1,500,000
Da:men USJ 400,000
GLO Damansara 360,000
Damansara City Mall 168,963
Sunway Pyramid Phase 3   62,000

Source: Savills Malaysia Research


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Amy Wong Siew Fong

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