Klang Valley’s biggest malls still gaining traction despite change in shopping habits

Malls are no longer a place for shopping only, the tenancy mix in malls have evolved with more leisure and entertainment outlets

By S BIRRUNTHA / Pic By TMR File

IT IS clear to see that shopping complexes are nowhere as popular as they used to be — at least not for shopping.

Gone are the days where people meet their friends at the mall, spend hours browsing through department stores, or running to a specialty shop to get their necessary items.

Today, malls are where you go for the experience instead of just the products, as they provide amenities and entertainment avenues to enhance the overall shopping experience.

However, some economic experts forecasted that the buying habits of Malaysians will be changing soon, given the current economic climate and the rapid growth of e-commerce.

Malaysia Shopping Malls Association president Tan Sri Teo Chiang Kok said the key factors of a shopping mall’s success also include an experienced and pro-active mall management team.

“This also includes achieving the right merchandise and tenant mix for their target market and an optimum location for the shopping mall to thrive.

“It is evident that bigger shopping malls we have today have attractive marketing programmes to lure shoppers,” he told The Malaysian Reserve in an email reply.

He also emphasised that to keep shoppers coming, shopping malls need to constantly strive to provide something new or different.

“Malls nowadays are more diversified and have become more and more ‘experiential’. It is no longer a place for shopping only, the tenancy mix in malls have evolved with more leisure and entertainment outlets, e-sports, extreme sports, co-working spaces, pet-themed playgrounds and in an obvious nod to today’s trends, even a selfie museum.

“Changes are always constant in the shopping mall industry and successful malls have to keep evolving to maintain their market share and remain competitive. Hence, malls will need to renew, refresh and regenerate to remain competitive at all times,” he added.

It also appears that new shopping mall openings are not slowing down, as many developers have earmarked their projects in the Klang Valley.

Nevertheless, some of the biggest and popular shopping complexes in the Klang Valley continue to sustain its operation and register a high foot traffic even on regular days.

Listed below are some of the biggest shopping spots in Klang Valley that are staggering and busy enough to keep people invested for quite some time.

One Utama Shopping Centre
Located in Bandar Utama, Damansara, One Utama sprawls a gross built-up area of 5.6 million sq ft. It is the largest shopping mall in Malaysia and the seventh largest in the world.

The complex has the largest rooftop garden, a secret garden, two cinemas (Golden Screen Cinemas and TGV Cinemas), a 36-lane bowling alley, an arcade centre, karaoke centre and a spaceship-themed kids play land.

It also has six recreational sporting activity centres, such as an indoor skydiving facility, Asia’s largest indoor rock-climbing gym, a scuba diving centre, a rooftop futsal and an automated baseball and softball centre.

The mall also offers a charging station for electric-vehicle (EV) owners, located on the fourth floor of the mall’s Oval carpark entrance.

According to its website, One Utama receives roughly 60,000 to 90,000 visitors on weekdays, and as many as 120,000 on weekends.

Mid Valley Megamall
Located at the entrance of Petaling Jaya and Kuala Lumpur, Mid Valley Megamall comprises a mall with over 430 stores on five floors, an office tower block, 30 offices and three hotels.

Mid Valley Megamall comprises a mall with over 430 stores on 5 floors, an office tower block, 30 offices and 3 hotels

A second mall, called The Gardens Malls, serves as an easy connection as it is adjacent to the Megamall.

The mall has 4.5 million sq ft of total floor area, out of which 1.7 million sq ft is a leasable space. This whole area is sometimes referred as the Mid Valley City.

The sprawling mall boasts a myriad of retail experiences ranging from fashion and lifestyle innovations to home furnishings, cosmetics and healthcare essentials to wining, dining and entertainment.

It houses signature anchor tenants like AEON, Metrojaya and Golden Screen Cinemas among 430 specialty stores including international brands Superdry, Bershka, Kipling, Miss Selfridge, Swarovski, Timberland, Topshop, Uniqlo and Zara.

Sunway Pyramid
Since it first opened its doors in 1997, Sunway Pyramid is the country’s one and only Egyptian-themed shopping mall that boasts a 4.3 million sq ft of retail extravaganza.

Sunway Pyramid is the country’s one and only Egyptian-themed shopping mall that boasts a 4.3m sq ft of retail extravaganza

Its main entrance welcomes people with a pyramid of an eye-catching lion standing guard that features two glorious domes — the Orange Atrium and Blue Atrium.

Its website states that the mall consists of several shopping precincts and comprises over 900 outlets, ranging from fashion, electrical products, home furnishing and wellness centre.

The New Pantai Expressway highway, including a dedicated ramp from the expressway to the malls’s car park which is in front of the mall was constructed in 2007.

The mall is also connected to the Sunway Lagoon Bus rapid transit station by a pedestrian bridge and is nearby Setia Jaya KTM Komuter station and USJ7 light rail transit station.

Pavilion Kuala Lumpur
Pavilion KL sets itself apart from the other malls by offering a luxury shopping experience right in the centre of the Bukit Bintang district.

Due to its elegance and luxury, Pavilion KL has played host to various glitzy events including fashion shows and F1 celebrations, attracting the rich and famous to the busiest part of Kuala Lumpur

Opened in 2007, the complex consists of a premiere shopping centre, two blocks of serviced apartments, office block and a five-star hotel.

With a floor area of 1.4 million sq ft, there are over 550 outlets from fine fashion, dining to premium home furnishing.

The sixth floor of the complex comprises of Tokyo Street in which it holds a wide range of Japanese restaurants and shops.

Adjacent to its building is Pavilion Elite, which features the largest Coach store in South-East Asia and many other large-format flagship outlets.

Due to its elegance and luxury, Pavilion KL has played host to various glitzy events including fashion shows and Formula 1 celebrations, attracting the rich and famous to the busiest part of Kuala Lumpur.

Suria KLCC
Located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, Suria KLCC is undoubtedly the most iconic premier shopping destination in the country.

Suria KLCC is undoubtedly the most iconic premier shopping destination in Malaysia

The complex, which is 1 million sq ft, was conceived as part of the Petronas Twin Towers project, having been constructed alongside the towers.

With great options for shopping, Suria KLCC houses some of the exclusive brands such as Gucci Beauty, Bally, De Beers, Chanel, Alexander McQueen, Hublot, Blancpain, CH Carolina Herrera, Boggi Milano, Coach Men, Dior Homme, Superga, Kinokuniya, Qeelin, EP (Elegant Prosper), Le Labo and Diane Van Furstenberg.

The complex holds more than 360 specialty stores, ranging from the hottest global fashion trends to the latest high-tech home gadgets, all under one roof.

The lush 20ha KLCC Park is situated right on its doorstep and is home to a wading pool, dancing fountains, a children’s playground and a jogging track, simultaneously encouraging a healthy lifestyle among city dwellers and those working nearby who wish to wait out the rush hour traffic by putting in a few outdoor workout sessions.