Retailers body expects spending to pick up after GE14

The Malaysia Retailers Association expects the political and social activities sparked by campaigning to motivate consumers to spend. (Reuters pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysia Retailers Association (MRA) expects the sluggish local retail market to improve after the general election.

MRA president William Cheng was reported by The Edge as saying that one reason consumers have not been spending lately is because they have adopted a “wait-and-see” attitude.

“When the campaign begins, it will lead to many political and social activities throughout the country. This should motivate consumers to spend,” he said at a conference titled “Retail Transformation, Creativity and Beyond” organised by MRA yesterday.

The election campaign will officially start after nomination day tomorrow. Polling has been fixed for May 9.

“Post-election, consumers’ spending is expected to improve further as Malaysians will focus on their own economic future and release the pent-up demand,” he said.

However, he acknowledged that the retail market would remain challenging in the coming years, partly due to disruption from the e-commerce industry.

“The market outlook can be very different from the current state. We may see a very different and changing landscape from the current situation. It depends on how the malls and the retail businesses will react to the millennial customers and the challenges from e-commerce,” said Cheng, who is also The Lion Group chairman.

He added that more Malaysians would have a higher take-home pay when economic growth was broad-based.

“When take-home pay improves, consumers will have better confidence on their future prospects. This will lead to a higher propensity to spend,” The Edge quoted him as saying.

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