Malaysia retail sales last year dropped to the lowest level in 22 years as the country has been heavily impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to the Malaysia Retail Sales Report, turnover plummeted 16.3 per cent last year, with most retail sub-sectors recording double-digit declines. The department store and fashion segments shrunk at 38.3 per cent and 37.9 per cent respectively, the worst performing sectors.
Since the Movement Control Order (MCO) was in place for most of the first quarter, retail sales this year are expected to drop 4.1 per cent, with the first quarter’s sales down by 13.4 per cent. The next three quarters will show recovery, the report predicts.
“Last year, Malaysia’s retail industry recorded the worst performance since the Asian financial and economic crisis that took place 22 years ago,” said Tan Hai Hsin, MD at Retail Group Malaysia. “In 1998, retail sales in Malaysia dropped by 20 per cent.”
While most retail sub-sectors, including F&B, children products and pharmacy, contracted by double digits, the convenience-store sector posted its best performance with 14.8 per cent growth last year. The furniture and electronics sector surged by 0.4 per cent despite the pandemic.