Singapore-based real estate giant CapitaLand has announced a $10m marketing assistance programme and the flexibility to operate shorter hours for retailers in its shopping malls.
It hopes this will help alleviate any impact from the coronavirus outbreak, which has now infected 65,213 people and claimed the lives of 1,486 people across 28 territories at the time of writing.
The number of people infected in Singapore currently stands at 58. This has seen people panic and avoid crowded places like malls, which means retail sales are expected to be weak this year, following a 2.8% fall in 2019 which was the steepest decline in six years.
Based on Statista's research, CapitaLand is one of the leading real estate investment managers worldwide as of June 2019, by assets under management with US$83.78m.
According to CapitalLand, the $10m programme will support both retailer-driven promotions and mall-wide marketing initiatives, such as complimentary booking of atrium spaces for retailers and free parking for shoppers during lunch or dinner hours.
A series of marketing initiatives to boost consumer spending will include cashback promotions as well as giveaways of points and online vouchers for shoppers who are members of its CapitaStar rewards programme.
The flexibility to operate shorter hours means from 14 February until further notice, stores within CapitaLand malls may operate from no later than 11am and close no earlier than 8pm. However, there will be no change to the malls' standard operating hours of 10am to 10pm.
"We will continue to monitor the situation and stand ready to offer more support. CapitaLand and our retail partners have overcome past economic downturns brought on by the severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) and the global financial crisis,” said Chris Chong, CapitaLand Singapore managing director for retail.
“I am confident our retail ecosystem will ride through the current challenge."
Chong previously spoke to The Drum about why the retail landscape undergoes disruptions, the formula for a successful mall must evolve as well.
To do this, CapitaLand has revamped Funan mall to embrace omnichannel through click-and-collect services, rely heavily on technology and operate an urban farm.