How Has Covid-19 Changes Malaysian Retail

How Has Covid-19 Changes Malaysian Retail

We’re in our second year of the pandemic now, and it’s no secret that Covid-19 has tremendously affected all sectors – from retail to agriculture.

But what are these impacts exactly, and what can retailers do about it rather than fretting on the sidelines?

In this article, we take a closer look at Covid’s impact on the Malaysian retail scene and the trends that we’re seeing today as a result.

Malaysia suffered its worst retail performance since the Asian financial crisis.

Thanks to a combined report by Malaysia Retailers Association (MRA), Retail Group Malaysia (RGM) and Malaysia Retail Chain Association (MRCA), we know that our retail industry recorded its worst performance since the Asian financial and economic crisis in 1998. That’s over two decades ago!

The report also dwelled down further into each sub-sector – which suffered the most, and which actually saw positive growth as a result of the imposed MCOs.

Negatively impacted sectors in retail (4Q20) Positively impacted sectors in retail (4Q20)
Department Stores -44.7% Mini-Market, Convenience Stores and Cooperatives +10.2%
Fashion and Fashion Accessories – 49.6% Furniture and Furnishing, Home Improvement, Electrical and Electronics +11.7%
Children and Baby Products -28.2%
Supermarkets and Hypermarkets -19.6%


Post COVID-19 retail trends in Malaysia

1.    Changing consumer focus calls for diversification

As consumer priorities shift in life, so does their spending. When it comes to their well-being, physical health, medical needs and diet – consumers agree that they’ve focused more attention towards these areas.

Household name Zalora took to expanding their product line to include daily essentials and necessities too, outside their usual scope of fashion. Hotels took measures to diversify their business model too by jumping on board food delivery platforms.


2.    E-commerce the way forward

Compared to her other ASEAN cousins, Malaysia has always enjoyed a notable e-commerce market. Since COVID-19, this growth has only been propelled forward.

Local e-commerce giant Shopee’s strategy saw them riding on current trending topics and pushing promotions on essential goods. Lazada on the other hand, took a different route by targeting SMEs with a business stimulus package to encourage e-commerce adoption among struggling SMEs.


3.    New meaning to marketing

With consumers restricted from stepping outside, retailers offline and online alike have had to amp up their digital game so that they’re not left in the dust.

This means dedicated strategies, robust advertising budgets, and for those who prior to the pandemic relied purely on footfall – having to pivot online and start digitalisating their business from the ground up. To be specific, there was a 14% increase in brands converting their businesses online.

Taking your business online isn’t easy, especially not when you have to do it in the blink of an eye to survive. At Senwave, our digital transformation solutions help SMEs embark (and succeed) in their digitalisation journey. Get in touch with us today to find out more.