Why 1 Shamelin shopping mall fails to take off?


1 Shamelin shopping mall was an ‘ambitious’ project by the developer to make it the first one of its kind mall in Malaysia which is affordable for young entrepreneurs to invest and embark their retail businesses.

The mall was officially opened in 2011 and started with anchor tenants like TGV Cinema, Old Town, Wong Kok Hong Kong restaurant and TLC Hypermarket. The super small size shops (approx. 108 sf ) were mostly vacant at that time, and today there is not much difference.

The ‘proven’ concept comes from Korea according to the developer and they wanted to copy the success. Unfortunately, it fails to take off as planned and I will analyze why.

The management of the shopping mall is actually trying their best and I must say they are doing a good job by ensuring the free parking is safe with sufficient security guards and bright enough to feel secure.

The rental for the small shop is expected to be from RM800 – RM1200 but I think with the current occupancy rate, you might be able to bargain for a fantastic deal.

This article is to mainly share my views why 1 Shamelin shopping mall fails to take off:

Bad planning and Wrong location for this giant shopping mall

The roads around and leading to the mall are small and full with traffic lights. You can see jam around the mall during peak hours even though the mall is practically empty.

Within 10 – 15 minutes of driving distance, this mall is competing with more mature malls like Suria KLCC, Cheras Leisure Mall or even the most successful mall like Mid-Valley Mega Mall.

Underestimate the expectations of Malaysian shoppers

Let’s put it this way, if you are not building a shopping mall like the new IOI City Mall or at least look like the Paradigm or Tropicana City mall, then you might as well don’t build at all.

Malaysians are having super high expectation in shopping experience, even though we are a developing country, our shopping experience requirement is definitely first class.

Owners occupied shopping mall

Majority of owner occupied shopping mall in the Klang Valley fails because the inability for the management to choose and guarantee the quality array of tenants. There are so many failed examples in the Klang Valley, so what were the developers of 1 Shamelin thinking?

They should have built a decent fully leased-only shopping mall and a condominium on top of it. Anyway, it’s too late to save the broken eggs and the lesson learned show the importance of consultancy by experts before building anything this massive.

The list goes on, but I think I will just stop here, and you get the idea. Will there be a miracle that this mall may enter a renaissance and attract the big crowd of shoppers in the future? I leave it to the future to answer this. Cheers.

By James Chow

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