Retailers Keep Close Eye On Next 6 months

May 27, 2024, Author: Admin
Retail industry players and attendees enjoying dinner while networking during a media appreciation dinner organised by MRA in Petaling Jaya. – Photos: LEW GUAN XI/The Star

WITH a newly formed board of council, Malaysia Retailers Association (MRA) is ready to face expected challenges in the second half of the year.

Its president Datuk Andrew Lim Tatt Keong said its recent annual general meeting discussed the drop in sales in the retail sector in the first half of 2024.

“Sales of essential items like food are more or less the same compared to last year.

“However, some of our members saw a 50% drop in sales of non-essential items like handbags and other luxury goods.

“Sales during the Hari Raya Aidilfitri period also saw a 20% drop compared to last year.

“The people are buying less due to their shrinking purchasing power.

“We are quite concerned about the performance of the retail industry in the next six months,” he said during a media appreciation dinner in Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

To address these challenges, Lim suggested that the government abolish the luxury tax and regionalise the minimum wage.

“The government should drop the luxury tax as its disadvantages far outweigh its benefits.

“Every country which imposes the luxury tax will eventually reverse its position as the tax hampers retail sales.

“The minimum wage should also be based on the cost of living in different states.

“For example, Klang Valley’s minimum wage should be more than in Perlis because the cost of living is significantly higher.

“If the government wishes to make Malaysia a shopping paradise, it must empower retailers,” Lim added.

MRA alternate deputy president Kasuma Satria Mat Jadi said the association would continue working closely with the government to propel the retail sector through the two final quarters of 2024.

Kasuma Satria: Retail industry trying its best to understand sensitivities of consumers.

“We will continue our collaboration with the government in various initiatives such as Buy Malaysian Goods Campaign to empower the retail industry,” he said.

On retailers’ fear of the “boycott” culture, Kasuma Satria called on consumers to “forgive and move on”.

“The industry is trying its best to understand the sensitivities of consumers.

“We humbly request everyone to continue supporting MRA and its efforts.

“Supporting the retail sector means supporting the country as the sector hires the most employees and generates the largest share of the country’s gross domestic product,” he said.

MRA council member Ricky Ng said tourism was crucial for the well-being of the retail industry in the second half of the year.

“When the tourism industry is leveraged, the retail sector will also be better due to the domino effect brought by increase in consumer spending,” he said.

MRA’s new board of council lineup comprises 12 re-elected and three newly elected members.

The appreciation dinner was attended by about 120 retailers and members of the media.



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