KUALA Lumpur Festival City, a subsidiary of Parkson Holdings Berhad, will now be known as Setapak Central.
The 44,128sq m property located along the Jalan Genting Kelang highway was bought over by AsiaMalls Sdn Bhd, which also owns Kinta City Shopping Centre in Perak and 1st Avenue Mall in Penang.
A Renault Cio RS200 and holiday tickets to Japan, Australia and New Zealand are some of the prizes to be given away as part of an aggressive rebranding campaign for the five-year-old mall.
Together with this fresh start is also an extra 2,322sq m of retail space which will be occupied by new tenants.
H&M, Auntie Anne’s, Texas Chicken and Sangkaya are listed in the mall’s new directory. Cotton On will also be expanding its retail space.
Remaining as its anchor tenants are Parkson, Econsave and MBO cinema together with 230 speciality stores.
“It is unusual to find a mall of this size in a suburban area to be so occupied,” said AsiaMalls general manager Andrew Neary.
“This is unlike the trend in southern Kuala Lumpur where retail competition has become very keen.
“But in northern Kuala Lumpur, Gombak, Batu Caves, Wangsa Maju and Keramat are still largely underserved.
“According to our research, Setapak is being gentrified as there is a proliferation of residential apartments.
“Above the mall alone are 900 units, all fully sold, currently valued at RM600 to RM700 per sq ft.
“There is a level of wealth here that has not been acknowledged,” said Neary.
Location-wise, Setapak Central is in a primary trade centre where the most number of retail shops are found within a 5km radius.
One sign the area is growing is a budget hotel just across the street.
A cash for pre-loved items store nearby is proof of a high-disposable income population.
The presence of tertiary educational institutions nearby has also helped to boost traffic to the mall.
“About 30% of our customers are under 19, while 40% are from the 20 to 40 age group. Some 64% are bumiputra, 20% Chinese and 8% Indian,” said Neary who uses this data to help retailers decide on tenancy.
The retail philosophy here is simply this: To have a good enough mall for the people of Setapak so they need not drive to Kuala Lumpur.
Nor Atiqah Ismail and Murni Azzirawaty Mohd Aini, who work with the National Higher Education Fund Corporation branch for Setapak, personify Neary’s motto of live, work and play without having to travel to the city centre. Both girls live about 3km to 5km from their workplace, which is located right inside the mall.
“It makes a big difference when your office is in a mall.
“At break time, I can hang out with a friend and window shop. It relieves stress,” they said.
Eugene Soh, 25, who frequents the mall’s food and beverage outlets twice a week, said he is excited that international brands will be coming to the mall.