Sunway Malls’ non-essential retailers will be given the flexibility to shorten their operating hours following the movement control order (MCO). Sunway Malls will pilot test the flexi hours for such retailers for a period of one month, with plans to extend it to another two months should it prove to be effective.
Retailers who chose to operate for eight trading hours instead of the current practice of 12 hours could see a cumulative 30-day savings of 120 trading hours.
The shorter trading hours also allows retailers to better optimise staffing arrangements from two shifts to just one working shift, with market estimates showing that wages account for 35% of cost while rental constitutes 15%. A quarter of the 35% expected savings is equivalent to a half month worth of rental saving.
However, Sunway Malls will continue to operate from 10am to 10pm daily together with essential retailers including pharmacies, supermarket, F&B outlets and convenience stores to ensure the public enjoys undisrupted access to important supplies, reported The Sun Daily.
The move, which enables retailers to slash their operating costs, helping preserve and protect their cash flow for next few months, is in line with earlier calls by retailer associations prior to the MCO for shorter store hours.
“We foresee after the resumption of business post-MCO, there will be a gestation period before full recovery takes place. We understand too that the new normal of social distancing and absence of mass gathering will have the greatest impact for the first three months post MCO. Taking cognizance of this, we have to accord some degree business flexibility to our business partners,” said Sunway Malls and Theme Parks CEO Chan Hoi Choy.
The initiative follows other earlier initiatives unveiled by the mall group in response to Covid-19 pandemic which has affected business performance.