CMCO: Quiet, hollow malls

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conditional movement control order shopping malls shopping centres CMCO retailers quiet hollow empty

By Kasthuri Jeevendran

KUALA LUMPUR – Although the government allows all economic activities to be carried out during the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO), it does not attract the public to visit the malls or shopping centres.

This situation has caused most of the shopping centres and malls at the CMCO locations to be quiet and empty without the usual crowd.

The states placed under CMCO are Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Sabah due to the escalation of the Covid-19 cases in these areas.

An observation by the MalaysiaGazette crew at several renowned malls in the city found a sharp dip in the number of consumers. We were told that the situation has happened even before the CMCO.

On a normal day, these places are filled with people who shop or merely spending their time strolling around the malls, dining and drinking.

It is unusual when these once concentrated venues turned hollow. Even the grocers, which are usually filled with people to purchase essential items, have become quiet and the number of consumers who leave home to buy grocery items could be counted with bare hands.

IKEA shopping malls shopping centres CMCO empty hollow quiet

Places such as food courts in the malls also suffered due to the lack of diners.

Certain shops do not have any customer despite the clock strikes 1.00 pm.

During the interview, some of them confessed that they did not have any customer and it was sad, as the situation has started before the CMCO.

“It’s definitely less and on certain days, there were no customers at all. Usually, we only have one staff working here. We can count with fingers.

“The retailers have been suffering and losing money even before the CMCO,” said a food stall owner.

Not only the restaurants and stalls but other shops also suffered the same fate.

A salesperson of a gift shop shared that there was no customer since this morning.

“I am not sure when this will end. Some days, there were no sales at all. Not only during the CMCO but it has been like this since Covid-19,” said the salesperson who refused to be named.

MalaysiaGazette also found that there were great discounts being offered at the stores and some prices of food have been dropped. Certain places are offering buy one free one promotion. However, these strategies did not seem to attract the consumers.

Parking space is no longer a problem during the CMCO.

However, fast food restaurants seemed a little busier than the rest of the businesses. Fast food restaurants with drive-through services are filled with customers who wanted a quick takeaway.

Based on the observation by MalaysiGazette, the shopping malls complied with the standard operating procedures (SOP).

Entrances to the malls were equipped with security personnel to conduct health screening on every visitor. Visitors are required to register before they were allowed to enter the premises.

The workers were also very careful and they requested visitors to always wear their face masks properly and observe social distancing. –MalaysiaGazette

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