In 2017, the Malaysian supermarket chain Econsave had 65 outlets throughout the country. In that year, local supermarket chains dominated the Malaysian supermarket landscape. In recent years, however, Malaysia’s supermarket retail sector has seen a shift towards a preference for smaller-sized supermarkets and grocery stores.
Supermarkets and hypermarkets
The 2000s saw a boom in supermarkets and hypermarkets in Malaysia, with many store operators aggressively expanding and opening numerous outlets in the country. These retail outlets offered shoppers a large variety of products under one spacious roof, and many Malaysian families could be seen spending long hours shopping there. However, between 2015 and 2017, the number of hypermarkets in Malaysia decreased greatly. This decrease in hypermarkets coincided with a significant expansion of convenience stores such as 7-Eleven.
According to the Retail Group Malaysia, Malaysian shoppers in 2019 are turning to mini markets for smaller purchases, while still going to hypermarkets for bulk purchases. This resulted, unsurprisingly, in supermarkets and hypermarkets being the worst-performing retail sector in the second quarter of 2019, posting negative growth. This lackluster performance was reflected in Malaysia’s overall retail sales growth in that quarter. Despite a positive consumer confidence index, Malaysian consumers are still cautious when it comes to spending, and shying away from unnecessary purchases, which supermarkets and hypermarkets are likely to encourage.
Number of supermarkets in Malaysia in 2015 to 2017, by chain
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Nielsen. (April 1, 2018). Number of supermarkets in Malaysia in 2015 to 2017, by chain [Graph]. In Statista. Retrieved August 16, 2022, from https://www.statista.com/statistics/755254/malaysia-supermarket-number-by-chain/
Nielsen. "Number of supermarkets in Malaysia in 2015 to 2017, by chain." Chart. April 1, 2018. Statista. Accessed August 16, 2022. https://www.statista.com/statistics/755254/malaysia-supermarket-number-by-chain/
Nielsen. (2018). Number of supermarkets in Malaysia in 2015 to 2017, by chain. Statista. Statista Inc.. Accessed: August 16, 2022. https://www.statista.com/statistics/755254/malaysia-supermarket-number-by-chain/
Nielsen. "Number of Supermarkets in Malaysia in 2015 to 2017, by Chain." Statista, Statista Inc., 1 Apr 2018, https://www.statista.com/statistics/755254/malaysia-supermarket-number-by-chain/
Nielsen, Number of supermarkets in Malaysia in 2015 to 2017, by chain Statista, https://www.statista.com/statistics/755254/malaysia-supermarket-number-by-chain/ (last visited August 16, 2022)