PETALING JAYA: Sunway Malls is set to roll out of its e-commerce platform "Sunway eMall" as part of its digitalisation effort to complete its physical and digital mall presence.
Currently, the Malaysian mall group operator has seven physical malls.
In a statement issued yesterday, the group said the official launch of Sunway eMall would allow Sunway Malls to offer an "offline-to-online-to-offline" journey with the convergence of both online and offline shopping experiences.
"It supports the mall group operator to switch seamlessly between these two domains in a more effortless manner and to offer the best of both worlds.
"Apart from completing the physical-digital mall presence, the mall group is eyeing the e-commerce platform as an insurance and contingency against unforeseen geographical or retail sub-sectors lockdown," it added.
It is worthy to note that around 70 million more people have transited to shop online in six South-East Asian countries, including Malaysia, according to a report from Facebook and Bain & Company.
The report projected that average online spending will grow 60% this year to US$381 (RM1,585) per digital consumer from US$238 (RM990) per consumer in 2020.
Meanwhile, Sunway Malls and Theme Park chief executive officer H C Chan said the e-commerce initiative was timely for the group's footprint to be part of a larger market, given the immense potential in e-commerce sales.
"Certainly, the venture into the digital place opens up new markets and possibilities for Sunway Malls. We are not time and geography-bound.
"Sunway eMall will complement our current combined 4.5 million square feet of physical retail space of seven malls. It amalgamates our seven physical mall presence into one digital mall. Through this exercise, Sunway Malls' portfolio has also grown to eight malls – physically and digitally," he added.
An initial 200 merchants covering various trade categories such as fashion, home and living, beauty, health and wellness, food and beverage e-vouchers and others are on board with 30,000 stock keeping units (SKUs). Sunway eMall projects to grow this to 500 merchants with 100,000 SKUs over the next 18 months.
On a positive note, Chan added that e-commerce players would have the option for in-store collection besides delivery, which would drive more footfall into Sunway Malls.
Sunway Malls is optimistic that its recovery can be sustained as the group's physical malls have showed signs of good recovery with the complete reopening of the retail sector.
"It expects attaining full pre-pandemic level performance in the near term," it said.
As of October 2021, preliminary indicators showed 80% traffic normality compared to the same pre-pandemic period of 2019, with shoppers making a strong return to Sunway Malls in the beginning of the fourth quarter of this year.
"The number is expected to pick up pace heading nearer to the year-end festivity," said Sunway Malls.
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