KUALA LUMPUR, 14 June – The Malaysian retail industry recorded a promising growth rate of 18.3% year-on-year (y-o-y) in retail sales in the first quarter of 2022 (1Q22).
In its Malaysia Retail Industry Report for June 2022, Retail Group Malaysia (RGM) said the latest quarterly result was better than the estimate made by members of the Malaysia Retailers Association (MRA) and the Malaysia Retail Chain Association (MRCA) at 16.5% in March 2022.
RGM said that so far, the retail recovery had been sustainable since the end of last year.
It said shopping traffic had returned in all major shopping malls and commercial centres located across the country.
The group said shoppers had returned to physical stores to enjoy what they missed during the long period of lockdowns last year.
In addition, it said the Chinese New Year festival (started in early January and ended in the middle of February) contributed to stronger sales for Malaysian retailers.
The association said the non-Chinese in Malaysia took advantage of this festival to enjoy shopping and travelling as well. Domestic tourism had contributed to higher retail sales.
Despite daily positive Covid-19 cases reaching 10,000 on Feb 6 this year, major shopping centres were still crowded on both weekdays and weekends.
It said when daily positive cases climbed to 20,000 from Feb 11, shoppers could still be seen everywhere.
RGM, however, said not all retail sub-sectors achieved robust sales during 1Q22.
It said selected retail sub-sectors that enjoyed a good performance during the lockdowns had returned to pre-pandemic sales levels.
The department store cum supermarket sub-sector recorded a positive growth rate of 18.3% during 1Q22 as compared to the same period a year ago.
The department store sub-sector maintained its recovery momentum with a growth rate of 39.1% during 1Q22.
The supermarket and hypermarket sub-sector witnessed its business returning to pre-Covid-19 levels, with business slowing down with a growth rate of -7.6% during 1Q22.
RGM said it was the worst performing retail sub-sector during the quarter.
On the other hand, the mini-market, convenience store and cooperative sub-sector was able to maintain its retail sales growth at 7.6% during the quarter.
During 1Q22, the fashion and fashion accessories sub-sector recorded a 52.1% growth rate, the highest among the retail sub-sectors during the quarter.
The children and baby products sub-sector recorded a slower increment in retail sales with a 2.5% growth rate during 1Q22.
During the quarter, the pharmacy sub-sector managed to maintain its recovery momentum with a growth rate of 15.5% y-o-y.
After a year of declining sales, the personal care sub-sector resumed its growth at 5.6% during 1Q22. — The Edge Markets