Thursday, 8 June 2017

(NST) 'Retail sales to grow 4.5pc'

KUALA LUMPUR: MALAYSIA’S retail sales are expected to grow 4.5 per cent this year despite tighter consumer spending, to be driven by higher tourist arrivals, said Malaysia Retail Chain Association (MRCA) president Datuk Garry Chua.

Retail Group Malaysia had earlier downgraded retail sales forecast for the year from five per cent to 3.9 per cent after weak sales in the fourth quarter of last year.

Retail sales grew less than four per cent last year, said Chua.

“Malaysia is projecting three million Chinese tourist arrivals this year, from 2.2 million last year. That is an additional of almost one million tourist arrivals from China.

“This increased tourism numbers will augur well for the industry. We are also expecting more tourists from America, Europe and Australia,” he said, here, yesterday.

Analysts said the gradual recovery in consumer spending would contribute to the top line and bottom line of listed retailers such as Padini Holdings Bhd.

Padini saw its third quarter net profit and revenue down quarter-on-quarter, mainly due to absence of big festive events.

Meanwhile, Chua said MRCA aimed to register 20 per cent rise in total transaction revenue from RM50 million last year at its four-day Malaysia International Retail & Franchise Exhibition event.

“We are targeting 20,000 visitors and 250 exhibitors for the event. There will also be international exhibitors from Singapore, Thailand, China, Taiwan, Indonesia, the Philippines.”

The exhibition will be held from July 13-16.

MRCA will also organise a conference on July 12 featuring top speakers, including Performance Management and Delivery Unit chief executive officer Datuk Seri Idris Jala and Malaysia Digital Economy Corp chief executive officer Datuk Yasmin Mahmood.