Kuala Lumpur is second best shopping city in Asia Pacific after Hong Kong (2012)

According to The Globe Shopper Index 2012 report, for the Asia Pacific region, Kuala Lumpur is the second best shopping city.

25 cities were judged in 5 categories: shops, culture & climate, hotels & transport, affordability, convenience.

The report spoke highly of Kuala Lumpur:

Kuala Lumpur’s main strength as a shopping location is its low total cost combined with an ability to deliver a shopping experience of a relatively high quality. It finishes third in the Index for affordability, including being tied for the lowest cost for the Index shopping basket and the
second-lowest dining and hotel costs of any city. Unlike other low-cost cities, however, which tend to perform poorly in several other categories, Kuala Lumpur delivers consistently in almost every area of the Index. It is the only city to finish among the top half in every category. Looking more closely at the 38 sub-indicators on which the Index is based, although Kuala Lumpur finishes first just three times—all in cost-related areas — it falls into the bottom half of cities only six times. Moreover, of the latter, three are weather-related, about which it is difficult to do much.

After cost, the city’s main strengths are those directly related to shopping. Its extensive sale seasons are collectively almost as long as those of Hong Kong’s and it has a reasonable variety of international brands, coming seventh in the Index. Malls are a central part of the shopping experience in the city, with indoor, air-conditioned spaces allowing buyers to escape the hot, wet climate. Although it comes third in the Index for the number of malls with over 100,000 sq metres in floor space, Kuala Lumpur benefits from three of the ten largest shopping malls in the world. These include 1 Utama—the world’s fourth largest—which boasts its own rainforest with 100 varieties of flora and fauna, and the Sunway Pyramid, the eclectic attractions of which include ancient Egyptian themed architecture, a faux Moroccan market and an ice rink. More broadly, there are over 100 malls in the area around Kuala Lumpur, and Bukit Bintang, one of the two central, trendy shopping areas, contains ten on its own.

Malls are not, however, the only choice for shoppers: those searching for bargains are likely to head for
the market stalls of Petaling Street, which is open well into the night, or the nearby Central Market, both of which are tourist attractions in their own right.

The rankings:

1 Hong Kong – 68.5%: topped safety, transport & variety;
2 Kuala Lumpur – 65.1%: scored highly in affordability, range of products & number of shops;
3 Shanghai – 63.1%
4 Beijing – 60.7%
5 Singapore – 60.2%
6 Sydney – 58.4%
7 Bangkok – 57.1%
8 Tokyo – 56.4%
9 Seoul – 54.8%
10 Delhi – 52.8%
11 Manila – 51.5%
12 Taipei – 51.2%
15 Guangzhou – 48.4%
17 Jakarta – 45.7%
23 Dhaka – 35.7%
24 Karachi – 34.1%
25 Yangon – 29.9%

For bargain hunters, the cheapest cities in which to do shopping are, in order:
1 Ho Chi Minh City
2 Dhaka
3 Kuala Lumpur
4 Jakarta
5 Bangalore
6 Bangkok
7 Mumbai
8 Manila – what? I thought Manila should be cheaper than KL?
9 Yangon
10 Karachi

The Globe Shopper Index 2012 report was run by the Economist Intelligence Unit of The Economist newspaper and commissioned by Switzerland-based shopping tourism company Global Blue.

The Star, 28 October 2012

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