PETALING JAYA, Sept 2: A retail group says Malaysia’s second quarter retail performance has been the worst quarterly result in the history of the nation’s retail industry.

Retail Group Malaysia (RGM) described the retail market turning into a “bloodbath” with the implementation of the movement control order (MCO) in mid-March to stem the spread of Covid-19, with the second quarter growth rate of -30.9% year-on-year worse than the initial forecast of -28.8%.

The department stores sub-sector contracted by 62.3% – the worst performing sub-sector – during the second quarter of this year.

It was followed by the fashion and fashion accessories sub-sector (-44.2%), other specialty retail stores (-40.9%) and the department store/supermarket sub-sector (-34.6%).

“This latest retail sale performance should be the worst quarterly result in the history of Malaysia’s retail industry,” RGM said in a statement.

The Malaysia Retail Industry Report (September 2020) was collated after interviews with members of Malaysia Retailers Association (MRA) on their retail sales performances for the second quarter as well as the rest of 2020.

Moving forward, RGM expects a mixed business outlook in the next three months, estimating an average growth rate of -3.4% during the third quarter.

The recovery movement control order (RMCO), which started on June 10, will last until Dec 31, and the strict physical distancing measures in place mean that shopping centres and retailers will not be able to operate at full capacity compared to pre-Covid-19 periods.

Noting that the six-month moratorium on loan repayments will end on Sept 30, RGM said it expects consumers to tighten their spending during the last three months of the year as they resume their monthly repayments.


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