91% of retail businesses suffer decline, 50,000 laid off

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KUALA LUMPUR: A survey by the Malaysia Retail Chain Association (MRCA) on the impact of current restrictions has shown that 91% of retail businesses reported a decline in sales during the first six months of this year.

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Its president, Shirley Tan, said the survey was conducted in June among its 450 association members to compare the sales figures for the first six months in 2020 and 2021.

“About 45% of the respondents said they experienced a more than 30% reduction in sales while 55% said they had downsized their retail operations while 21% had closed up to six outlets or branches.

“Around 40% of our members reported that they had terminated more than 10 employees.

“It is safe to say that probably more than 50,000 retail employees have been terminated so far,” she said during a virtual press conference today.

Tan noted that 97% of the retail respondents reported that they only had 4.5 months worth of cash flow to sustain their operations as a result of the declining sales.

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“Many of our members are badly hit by this pandemic. Some cannot sustain beyond three months with their current cash flow positions.”

Meanwhile, MRCA, together with Direct Selling Association of Malaysia (DSAM), have joined hands to raise emergency funds to purchase essential food supplies for people affected by the pandemic.

The collaboration aims to raise RM500,000 to help provide food boxes to more than 10,000 families within the Klang Valley and its vicinities.

“To date, the food boxes have reached 2,000 families at nine distribution locations across Kuala Lumpur and Selangor. More locations are currently being finalised for distribution.

“We believe that this collaboration with DSAM will at least help the less fortunate. Every contribution will lessen the suffering of the people,” said Tan.-BERNAMA