Strategic mall still pulling 'em in

IOI City Mall to add another million sq ft

DESPITE the subdued retail property market currently, malls that are generally strategically located, or managed “properly” are still attracting customers in the droves.

An example of that is IOI City Mall (pic above), which opened its doors at the end of 2014. With a net-lettable area of more than one million sq ft, the mall is already gearing up for a new phase, equally as big, says IOI City Mall Sdn Bhd marketing and leasing head Chris Chong.

“The success of IOI City Mall shall be replicated in its phase two development, with an additional one million sq ft and a major convention centre as the management aims to deliver a space for social and economic connection,” he tells StarBizWeek.

“Thus, the addition of two blocks of Grade A office towers and the completion of the five-star Le Meridian Hotel in mid-July are expected to invite more diversified excitement that will draw bigger crowds to the mall, especially on weekdays.”

About RM1.5bil was invested to build the mall, which is located just a stone’s throw away from IOI Resort in Putrajaya. Chong says the mall has an occupancy rate of around 95%, with rental rates ranging from RM5 to RM20.


Chong: ‘The mall is anchored by major brands.’
Chong: ‘The mall is anchored by major brands.’

“The mall is anchored by major brands, such as the 13-screen Golden Screen Cinemas, HomePro, Index Living Mall, the second largest outlet of Parkson departmental store and the first conceptual “Food First” Tesco store in the country, District 21 Adventure Park and an Olympic-size 

Icescape Ice Rink.

“Other specialty retail offerings of the mall include its mini anchors, namely Borders, Brands Outlet, Food Junction, Harvey Norman, H&M, LOL, Molly Fantasy, Kidzoona, Padini Concept Stone, Sports, Toys R Us, Uniqlo, Wangsa Bowl and YFS.”

He adds that the mall also hosts a varied mix of fashion and accessories categories complemented by a wide array of motherhood necessities, home and living, IT gadgets, groceries and services.

“Levels from ground floor and above are dedicated to all ages for timeless leisure, fashion and lifestyle, while the lower ground floor caters for serious family shoppers to hunt daily essentials in the convenience of all-in-one-go and food street.”

Chong says the mall also hosts more than 100 food and beverage (F&B) outlets at all levels of the mall, offering a good variety of dining options from casual fast food, exquisite fine dining to exotic international cuisines.

“Some of the extraordinary F&B outlets not to be missed are Magnum Putrajaya, T-Lounge by Dimah, Nathan’s Famous, Tony Roma’s, Dal.komm Coffee and Johnny Rockets’s.

“Also, there is an al-fresco stretch of The Symphony Walk located on the ground floor, which overlooks the golf course and lush greenery.”

Apart from having a good tenant mix, Chong attributes the success of IOI City Mall to the fun-filled and unique entertainment components of the mall – which he says is a major “crowd pulling” factor.

“For instance, the 70,000 sq ft Apocalypse-themed Adventure Park – District 21, and the 30m by 60m ‘biggest ice rink in Malaysia’ – Icescape Ice Rink, have successfully stir interest in the Klang Valley as they appeal to different age groups with their experiential offerings.”

Chong believes the mall is ideally located, adding that with good road connectivity today, it is “not very far away”.

“With its location strategically laid between the gateways to Putrajaya and the south of the Klang Valley, the mall is poised to be the convergence point with all-round accessibility for businesses, leisure and tourism.

“Thus, the RM1.5bil development has managed to cater for all retail and entertainment needs in the convenience of 670,000 households, or a 2.8 million population catchment, within a 30-minute drive.”

According to Retail Group Malaysia (RGM), the Malaysian retail industry recorded a 4.4% fall in sales in the first quarter of this year compared with a 4.6% growth a year ago.The report, which was based on interviews with members of the Malaysian Retailers Association on their retail sales performances, attributed the poor first quarter performance to higher pre-goods and services tax (GST) sales a year ago as well as the weak Chinese New Year sales in February.

RGM said the estimated growth rates for the third and fourth quarters of 2016 are 5% and 5.5%, with poor consumer spending expected to be the biggest challenging factor for 2016.“After one year of implementing the GST, consumers are still holding back on spending. Further increases in the cost of living will worsen it,” said the report.

Chong observes that the overall retail market is transforming at a fast pace and getting increasingly competitive.

“Fashion, together with F&B, are now considered basic for most malls, while the entertainment component is getting bigger in almost all sizeable malls. People are more likely to travel further and stay longer in a mall with at least a unique attraction.“The industry will continue to see shoppers’ experience being enhanced with personalised or interactive services and technology-driven facilities, such as a car finder system, marketing programmes, shoppers’ rewards and festive-related campaigns.”


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