What do KL’s millennial shoppers want?

November 8, 2017 / By  

Prior to the Internet, shopping for those living in Kuala Lumpur simply meant going to the mall. However, things have changed as we shift to an online model.

This trend is supported by the younger generation who will soon become the main driver of Malaysia’s domestic consumption. The recent current population estimate for 2017 shows that about half of the total population in Malaysia comprises those aged 35 and below. Subsequently, we observe that Kuala Lumpur shopping malls are evolving to become more than just shopping destinations.

More experiential trades

In term of trade mix, up to 30 per cent of a net lettable area of new or newly refurbished shopping malls comprises F&B outlets. These experiential trades – including leisure and entertainment elements – can take up to more than 50 per cent of the net lettable area of a new shopping mall. In the past, malls used to be mostly tenanted by fashion and household outlets but these shopping elements have been reduced.

Taking on the role of recreation

The role of shopping malls is also gradually replacing existing public spaces. Young people do not prefer to spend hours at parks due to the scorching weather. Instead, they may just spend their weekends comfortably in the movie theatre or restaurants inside a shopping mall.

Most of the established and newly operating shopping malls have a similar trade mix in order to attract these younger generations. The newly operating MyTOWN Shopping Centre in Cheras this year is incorporating a lifestyle element into its shopping mall by providing a two-acre park surrounding it, and a sunken garden with amphitheater-style seating which can host various outdoor activities and events.

The Starling Mall in Damansara Uptown also has the same element where it has created a relaxing space with a 27,500 sq ft park and a strong focus on F&B.

Omni-channel retail and accessibility

In recent years, several existing shopping malls in Kuala Lumpur has been undergoing refurbishment to enhance the shopping experience for their customers. Among the refurbished shopping malls are Lot 10, Sunway Putra Mall and Atria Shopping Gallery.

Since its rejuvenation in 2016, Lot 10 has been repositioned to appeal to tech-savvy young urbanites with omni-channel retailers Zara, H&M and Isetan as its anchor tenants. As the shopping mall targets the tech-savvy younger generation, there is free Wi-Fi access available throughout Lot 10 and a newly-launched app for customers to learn about the latest updates and news on the mall.

Gen Y and Z tend to shop online more. In order to keep-up with the rise of e-commerce, more brick-and-mortar retailers are now offering online shopping facilities such as providing cashless payment methods, and online shopping portals which also covers door-step delivery services.

This trend covers almost all retail sectors including international luxury brands, fashion clothes & accessories, gifts, toys, books, electrical & electronics, furniture, hardware, build ware, groceries, F&B etc.

Convenience is key for Gen Y and Z shoppers. These consumers are important stakeholders in shaping the direction of the current and future shopping malls in the nation, especially in Greater Kuala Lumpur where a vast array of shopping malls is located and being built.

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