By RAHIMI YUNUS / Pic By TMR
A mix of different retailers, instead of one anchor tenant, are expected to take over 126,000 sq ft of retail space in Suria KLCC, after retail brand Parkson exited Malaysia’s premier shopping mall.
A source familiar with the matter said Suria KLCC is in talks with several potential tenants to fill the three-level departmental store that closed late last month.
The source said the mall owner believed the mixed retailers will bring something fresh and boost the traffic at the retail podium of the high-end mall, which is connected to the world’s tallest twin towers.
“It will be different. It will neither be just one anchor tenant nor a departmental store,” the source told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR).
Parkson had been one of the anchor tenants since the mall opened in May 1998, together with the connected towers — the Petronas Twin Towers — formerly the world’s tallest building.
“Something really interesting that no one has ever done before is coming up…Suria KLCC is likely to gain more footfall from the new
tenants,” the source told TMR.
Parkson Malaysia, which is owned by Parkson Holdings Bhd, exited the posh mall at the end of last month, ending its more than 20 years’ relationship.
It is not known why Parkson left Suria KLCC. Parkson took three levels at the mall with a retail space almost the size of 45 tennis courts.
Parkson said in a statement that the closure was due to its expired lease. A few retailers had also exited the mall after their lease expired and no new arrangements were agreed on.
Besides Suria KLCC, Parkson also closed its outlets in Maju Junction and Sungei Wang Plaza in February last year.
Many retailers are finding it hard to boost footfalls as sales moderated and some consumers shifted to dedicated retail brands or opted for online shopping.
The opening of so many new malls in the Klang Valley had diluted footfalls, leaving many of the tenants of these business establishments in financial debacle.
In the second half of 2018 report, Knight Frank Malaysia said more owners and operators of shopping centres are embarking on asset enhancement initiatives, as well as refreshing their trade and tenant mix.
The property consultant firm said measures were taken to cater to the changing shopping trends and to attract higher footfalls amid growing competition.
“Moving forward, we will see the downsizing of hypermarkets as their owners respond to current consumer preference for smaller stores, as well as the closure of non-profitable outlets due to changes in domestic retail trends,” said the property consultant.
Knight Frank said supply continues to outstrip demand, and lesser established and new shopping centres without high pre-committed take-up will continue to face challenges in the diluted retail market.
Malls in Kuala Lumpur are undergoing layout and tenancy repositioning. They are also subdividing their large retail areas into smaller lots to cater for new entrants.