Thursday, 8 June 2017

(NST) Malaysians retailers optimistic of Q2 sales boost

KUALA LUMPUR: Despite recording a negative growth rate in the first quarter (Q1) 2017 in retail sales, Retail Group Malaysia (RGA) has maintained its projected retail sales growth rate at 3.9 per cent for the full year.

In a statement today, RGA said it expects the poor retail sale results during the first quarter to be offset by the higher projection of the second quarter.

“Members of the retailers’ association are hopeful that their businesses will pick up by the second quarter of 2017.

“They projected an average growth rate of 4.8 per cent,” it said.

During the first quarter, Malaysia’s retail sales shrunk 1.2 per cent compared to the same period in 2016.

RGA said after three quarters of declines, the department store cum supermarket operators are expecting a solid turnaround with a growth of 6.2 per cent for Q2 this year.

Similarly, it said department store operators are expecting their businesses to rebound strongly with a growth rate of 6.1 per cent for the second three-month period of this year.

On the other hand, supermarket and hypermarket operators are expecting a moderate recovery with 1.2 per cent growth rate for the second quarter of 2017.

Besides that, RGA said the retail sale growth rates for Q3 and Q4 are estimated at five and 5.5 per cent respectively.

“Trading condition remains tough for retailers during the second half of 2017.

“The challenges include higher cost of goods and rising operation costs for retailers,” it said.

RGA said the recovery of retail sales is highly dependent on external economic demand and ringgit performance for the rest of the year.