Malaysian retailers target 5pc retail sales growth in 2019

MRCA president Datuk Seri Garry Chua speaks during a press conference in Subang Jaya November 27, 2018. ― Picture by Miera Zulyana
MRCA president Datuk Seri Garry Chua speaks during a press conference in Subang Jaya November 27, 2018. ― Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 27 — The Malaysia Retail Chain Association (MRCA) expects retail sales to grow by 5 per cent in 2019 in line with nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth.

MRCA president Datuk Seri Garry Chua said for 2018, the retail sales growth rate is expected to be 4.9 per cent based on a survey conducted by the association.

“The growth in retail sales is expected to grow and improve marginally in 2019.

“This is supported by the strong forecast in fourth quarter (Q4) of 6.1 per cent year-on-year despite the reintroduction of the sales and services tax (SST) in September 2018, as retailers expect year-end school holidays and the festive season to bolster consumer spending.”

Chua was speaking at the MRCA Retail 2018 Results.

Based on the survey, he said, retail sales grew on average 5.7 per cent in Q1 due to Chinese New Year sales and promotions.

“In the second quarter, it grew at a slower rate of 2.1 per cent year-on-year, affected mainly by the general election in May, where consumers were holding back on spending due to economic uncertainty.

“Meanwhile, the tax holiday between June and August encouraged consumers to spend. Retailers participating in the survey recorded growth of 5.7 per cent year-on-year,” said Chua.

Chua mentioned food and beverage, health and beauty and other sectors reporting an encouraging growth rate of 5.4 per cent, 3.1 per cent and 21 per cent year-on-year respectively.

However, fashion retailers suffered a negative growth rate in both Q2 and Q3, at 2.2 per cent and 2.8 per cent year-on-year respectively.

The survey, carried out via online and email, engaged 10 per cent of its members representing 59 brands and a combined total of 2,266 stores across a variety of categories.

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