Like most countries in the world, Malaysia’s economy has been badly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses found it hard to stay afloat with a year passing by since the first MCO was announced.
Finding alternatives and options
A lot of businesses found it extremely hard to stay in operation and this is most evident in the retail and service industry. No doubt the travel industry is one of the worst when it comes to being affected but such a case is not clear of any other sectors too. In fact, there have been announcements of the closure of operations. Some were expected while there were some that caught people by surprise. Below are some of those major casualties.
Even one of the oldest names in the retail industry found it hard to survive in the Malaysian economy due to COVID-19. Robinsons Malaysia announced that it was closing in October 2020 after almost a century of operating in the country. Internationally, it has been around for more than 160 years and survived some of the biggest and most tragic events including the first and second world wars. The operations will be moved to its HQ in Singapore but it was saddening to see them closing their doors in Malaysia after being one of the most influential brands here for so long.
Most Malaysians will surely know Speedy Video. When we had to watch locally produced serials from HVN, they were such a household name. Later on, it would become one of the biggest stores around shopping malls where they sold CDs, DVDs, merchandise and even toys. For more than 30 years, Speedy Video has been the faithful brand where we could get our entertainment sources. Since the MCO kicked-in, they have found it difficult to survive and announced that they will be closing their 14 stores across the country.
The news of the closer of ESPRIT was not only in Malaysia but it stores in Asia outside Mainland China. This means that the operations will be closed as well. ESPRIT has been an integral part of the fashion industry in Malaysia for more than 20 years now and the news of its closing was met with a lot of sad emotions. As of the end of June 2020, the stores were closed but ESPRIT would still be supporting customers through its online stores.
Who would not know MPH bookstores? This is the go-to bookstore if you are in shopping malls in the past. Since the MCO hit, maintaining the rentals and overheads has been very challenging and large bookstores will surely find it hard to stay afloat. MPH did not announce that it is closing operations but one by one of their outlets are clearing out their shelves including the one in MyTown, Subang Parade, Sunway Geo and JB City Square, to name a few. It looks like the others are slowly following suit if this pandemic goes on for a longer time.
If you are a lover of food and more so local delicacies, you would surely know Snackfood Bangsar. This brand has been around for more than a decade now where it is known for some really nice snacks and novelties. It is quite a nice place for the locals to visit but unfortunately, they have shut down since June 2020.