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us apple developer accounts for sale:Retailers re-strategise business plans


Complementary: The rise of online shopping will not mean the demise of physical stores, says Henry Butcher. THE retail sector has been one of the biggest casualties of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. Going into 2021, not much has really changed and with the situation unlikely to be abated any time soon, retail players will have no choice but to re-strategise their business plans. According to Henry Butcher Malaysia’s Malaysia Property Outlook 2021, the country’s retail future depends highly on the way Covid-19 is handled, such as government policies on movement restrictions and physical distancing guidelines. “Moving forward, retailers and food and beverage (F&B) operators must adopt the omni-channel strategy and provide both online and offline or physical store experience as part of the new normal.” Gone are the days where retailers can rely on just the physical stores to survive, says Henry Butcher. “In this new era, multiple channels is the way to go as consumers have a preconceived notion that they could reach out to buy as conveniently as possible, even if it is through their tiny mobile screens. “This is why consumers have begun learning all sorts of apps just to stay engaged and make a purchase online.” It notes that the rise of online shopping will not necessarily mean the demise of physical stores. “In fact, quite the opposite because as retailers begin tapping the potential of online stores, they also realised the advantages of maintaining a physical store, as Malaysian shoppers will slowly but surely return to their favourite shopping haunts.” Meanwhile, Savills Malaysia retail head Murli Menon says online businesses are here to stay and will continue to grow across all sub-categories. “Retailers need to meet consumers and focus on digital first and then continue the consumers’ journey into the physical stores.” He emphasises that brick-and-mortar businesses are still critical. “Shoppers and diners look forward to the actual experience of physical shopping and the “touch and feel” factors. Brands will need to rethink their physical space to make it more dynamic and to keep the consumers coming back to the stores. “There will be greater allocation and emphasis on F&B and other services will continue as a trend. With the new normal, overall expectation of consumers for safety and hygiene will definitely be at a higher level, compared with the pre-Covid-19 days.” Murli adds that retailers and malls will have to up their overall standards for that added assurance. “‘Athleisure’ sports and health-related activities are expected to see continued growth. There will also be more emphasis on data analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning, be it for supply chain management or for digital marketing.” To curb the rise in Covid-19 cases, the government re-implemented the movement control order (MCO 2.0) on Jan 13. Earlier this week, the MCO 2.0 was extended until Feb 18 for all states in Malaysia except Sarawak. Retail Group Malaysia (RGM) managing director Tan Hai Hsin (pic below) says the latest MCO will affect overall growth rate, although not significant as the first MCO that was implemented in March last year. “The extension of the MCO will have a major impact on retail sales, especially so it is around Chinese New Year, ” he tells StarBizWeek. Sunway Malls and Theme Parks chief executive officer H.C. Chan (pic below) says a key difference between the first MCO and MCO 2.0 is that more economic activities and businesses are allowed to operate. “Certainly, the retail sector will be seeing severe downward pressure, given the uncertainties of the virus spread and the restrictive measures that will weigh on both consumer sentiments and business confidence. “In terms of impact, each sub-retail category will yield different quantums, arising mainly from whether their trade is permitted to operate or not. The impact is largely dependent on the MCO 2.0’s duration, as well as its restrictive measures. Overall recovery will push back and reset.” CBRE | WTW in its Real Estate Market Outlook 2021 says that technology and e-commerce have become a significant part of business plans for both retailers and landlords. “Store rationalisation will continue but physical space remains relevant. Tenant retention and lease flexibility will impact on the performance of retail malls in the Klang Valley. “Upcoming retail malls with pre-leasing activities may remain competitive with existing malls. Until the pandemic is contained and international borders reopen, continuous pressure on occupancy is expected as additional retail space supply enters the market.” CBRE | WTW adds that neighbourhood retail malls are performing better in terms of shopper traffic and occupancy, as they are the most convenient and cater to neighbourhood areas. “Tourist-focused retail malls may only see better performance when international borders reopen, while other retail malls will continue to face major challenges.” CBRE | WTW says some malls have already begun to re-purpose their retail space to cope with the pandemic. “SSTwoMall in Petaling Jaya announced a revamp into a healthcare centre known as D’LifeCareMall, with Life Care Diagnostics Medical Centre as its main tenant, offering a comprehensive healthcare service of medical specialist consultations. “The possibility of more retail malls re-purposing space usage may gain traction if D’LifeCareMall proves successful.” CBRE | WTW notes that the temporary closure of non-essential businesses during the first MCO last year had pushed tenants’ demands of rental rebates and reductions, which were commonly in the range of between 10% and 30%. “More flexible lease terms were offered by some newly opened retail malls as an option to gain and retain tenants for mall occupancy.” Post-pandemic, Rahim & Co in its Property Market Review 2020/2021 says both the physical and online aspect of retailing will continue to work alongside and complement each other as “nothing beats the experiential aspect of consumerism” and the convenience of 24/7 access to online shopping. Looking back at 2020, Rahim & Co says the retail sector within Kuala Lumpur faced significant challenges last year. “As the capital state of Malaysia and the major hub of business and leisure, Kuala Lumpur’s retail sector had gone through the ringer as movement control orders of various levels disrupted mall opening hours and flow of foot traffic. “People were highly sensitive to daily positive case reports and crowds would become volatile. One weekend a bustling scenery and the next just short of dead quiet. “Fortunately, the malls within Kuala Lumpur held up against the disruptive period and no closures of major malls were reported thus far. However, the pressure was more on retail tenants who had suffered from the sharp drop in consumer demand.” Rahim & Co points out that a number of retailers had opted to exit, such as Robinsons with the closure of both stores in The Shoppes at Four Seasons Place and The Gardens mall. Rahim & Co adds that the retail sector in Selangor was also adversely affected by the pandemic last year. “For Selangor, which relies on both the locals and international visitors to grace its retail establishments, periods of dead or low-foot traffic became common, more so with the less popular malls, even when the MCO was lifted as people remained cautious and avoided public, crowded places. “While there have been bouts of promising crowd sizes on weekends, sales remained low as wallets were strung tight amidst job losses and pay cuts.”

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