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The Desolate Mall Scene

Image Credit: Sunyu Kim on Unsplash

I saw a post on social media from a friend. It was a time lapse video of foot traffic in a local (relatively popular) mall in the midst of PJ. The sight was a sorry one. 

In fact, this family would visit a mall every other day to get our daily essentials. After having dinner, we would pop by the supermarket to grab some stuff. 

The after-dinner traffic is really solemn. We are almost always greeted with shuttered stores, closing convenience stores, and even the delis close early, patronized by small groups of peckish shoppers nibbling nonchalantly around barren stores. 

I guess we're lucky that, if we went early enough, they were open at all. Even the workers were half-hearted, unconcerned and detached from the possibility of making a sale. 

Hence, it is no wonder that people are hopping onto Lazada and Shopee to get things we usually impulse buy while walking past stores in malls. 

Simple stuff like light bulbs, nails, extra spoons, or other non-essential items are completely evasive if you visit the malls in the evenings. 

PJ is a KL satellite city that is, if not known for anything else, known for its abundance of malls. And they intend to build even more of them before the Pandemic-driven lockdown).  I wonder how the plans are going to change from hereon.

Will people flock to the malls again once this whole shebang is over? Will small businesses survive this economic uppercut? Will mall businesses be slain in the onslaught of lockdowns? 

I don't know. Seriously, I don't know. 

Malaysians are real mall crawlers and I think consumers will once again flock to them when we're free to do so. But I can't help but wonder the kind of impact Covid-19 will really have on these businesses.

Not all businesses can go online, you see. The spas, gyms, beauty centers, shoe store, digital outlets, etc. Perhaps, there would be an uprising of home-delivery home barbers, home personal trainers, or home massage therapists.

Just thinking ahead. 


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