by DARMINAA UTHAYAKUMAR/ pic by TMR FILE
1 UTAMA Shopping Centre (1U) is undertaking precautionary steps as Covid-19 shows no signs of slowing down.
Though the number of infections is increasing, the effect has yet to have impacted 1U as locals continue to patronise the mall while events and roadshows are still being held as planned. Speculations on the drop in customers is due to the Covid-19 outbreak that is still undetermined and will be analysed.
In a statement recently, 1U said a slowdown in retail performance after a festive period is common as it has occurred right after Christmas and Chinese New Year.
A dip in sales this month is a result of a common low season for the retail industry, which only encourages mall operators and retailers to push sales and promotions in the next few months.
1U believed that it was still too early to consider requests for rental rebates or to shorten mall operating hours as they also need to meet the financial requirements and cashflow in order to operate the mall.
Bandar Utama City Centre Sdn Bhd director Tan Sri Teo Chiang Kok said the company looks forward to the government implementing cost of living aids, subsidies and tax reliefs to increase the liquidity in the market in the pockets of the people to stimulate the retail economy.
“Rebates into credit and debit cards issued in Malaysia would also be another boost to retail spending and drive more transactions for all businesses.
“1U suggests users to extend and expand the e-Tunai Rakyat by including Grab, Boost, Touch ‘n Go and 1U’s 1PAY E-wallet to be focused on retail spending to stimulate the retail economy,” he added.
The 1PAY E-wallet is in line with the government’s efforts to introduce cashless transactions by giving a RM10 rebate to each shopper for their first transaction with no minimum spend throughout March 2020 to help drive sales and support tenants during the expected low season.
The irresponsible actions of certain parties in publicising fake news of coronavirus infections is being undertaken by the government as they reassure citizens that the situation is under control.
1U has also taken measures to protect and safeguard the health of employees, shoppers and tenants by perpetuating high standards of hygiene by increasing cleaning in the mall using hospital grade sanitisers and disinfectants, while shoppers will also have readily available hand sanitisers installed.
Comprehensive air treatments and filtration systems where indoor air will be expelled twice a day and replaced with fresh air will be done to ensure clean air conditioning.
All mall employees, vendors, suppliers and contractors will also go through screening at entrances and at all bays by conducting temperature checks and providing medical assistance to the ill.
1U is optimistic that the retail sector will remain strong as the government and businesses work to deliver sales promotions to help the economy.