Buyers on the rise after GST cut, Hamleys retailer says

GRV Toy Store Sdn Bhd director Mohamed Mustakim Manaf speaks to reporters at Ilham Tower in Kuala Lumpur June 18, 2018. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
GRV Toy Store Sdn Bhd director Mohamed Mustakim Manaf speaks to reporters at Ilham Tower in Kuala Lumpur June 18, 2018. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

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KUALA LUMPUR, June 18 — The government’s removal of the goods and services tax (GST) have helped increase consumer confidence resulting in more business, according to retailer Mohamed Mustakim Manaf.

The director of GRV Toy Stores Sdn Bhd, the Malaysia and Singapore franchise holder for Hamleys —the world’s oldest and largest toy store — said his number of customers have grown since June 1, after the unpopular 6 per cent consumption tax was axed.

“As a retailer, what we’re seeing is consumers are starting to feel happier because they can save more.

“Since the GST have gone zero-rated, we have seen more shoppers visiting shopping malls and our numbers have increased, attributed to the improved general consumer sentiment,” he told reporters after a closed door meeting with the Council of Eminent Persons at Ilham Tower here today.

“We are expecting a more positive outlook as a whole for the next six months as it’s showing in our numbers, evident of better consumer spending,” he said.

He added toys were not an essential good and consumers would prioritise necessities to ensure there was enough to sustain themselves first.

“During our meeting with the Council, both parties wanted to ensure the general consumer to benefit from more competitive pricing,” he said.

But Mustakim said he also supports the proposal by Datuk Wira Ameer Ali Mydin from the Bumiputera Retailers Organisation (BRO) to lower the sales and services tax (SST) when it is brought back in September to replace the GST.

He suggested capping it at 3 or 4 per cent.

“We at BRO are aware of the SST that will kickstart soon and we share the same sentiment with Ameer to have the SST capped a more affordable rate that is lesser than 10 per cent.

“We feel that the suggested figure is a fair assessment, but it all depends on the Council to take into consideration of other retailers as it is not fair for them to just take into account of our views alone,” he said.

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