Sunway to invest heavily in hybrid retail parks with retailtainment

Sunway are to invest RM2.25 billion ($548 million) in new malls and expansions over the next four years. Retailtainment is key to the new developments like Sunway Big Box.

Edge Markets reports that mall space totalling three million sq ft in net lettable area (NLA) will be created. Sunway will build new malls in Johor, Ipoh and Penang while in Seberang Perai, it will extend an existing one. In addition a a fourth phase to Sunway Pyramid is planned.

Although there is seen to be an oversupply of malls in some areas of Malaysia, Sunway believed they have identified a gap in the market for hybrid retail parks like the new Sunway Big Box.

The RM250 million ($61 million) 64 acre Sunway Big Box opening soon, includes 24 acres for Big Box retail together with a 40 acres X Park lifestyle adventure element.

H C Chan, CEO of Sunway Malls & Theme Parks, told The Edge, “There are a dozen or more traditional large format malls in Johor, some of which opened in the past two to three years. We are looking at a new format that is a hybrid retail park. It will be very different from a typical mall.”

Retailtainment at Sunway Big Box

X Park will feature go-carting, a 1km flying fox, an all-terrain ATV facility, a driving range, trampoline park and water sports together with 50 lakeside glamping units.

Another unusual offering at Sunway Big Box is a 30,000 sq ft Chinese restaurant with banquet services for 100 tables. A four-star hotel is planned for 2020.

Chan says, “These are not things you will find in a typical mall”.

The development’s slogan is “Boxes of Experiences”.

A recent ICSC report showed that entertainment in retail environments is becoming increasingly important for malls’ success in the US. The study found that in US malls between Q1 2010 and Q1 2019, entertainment square footage grew by 44.7%.

Image: Sunway Big Box