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Malaysians Among The World's Greatest Shopaholics

 June 14, 2006 14:12 PM 

Malaysians Among The World's Greatest Shopaholics

KUALA LUMPUR, June 14 (Bernama) -- The world's biggest shopaholics are found in Asia, including Malaysia, according to two international surveys on consumers' attitudes towards shopping.

In the surveys by ACNielsen which covered 42 countries, people in seven of the top 10 nations who shop once a week simply to amuse themselves, hailed from Asia.

Consumers in Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia ranked among the highest in the world for shopping twice a week for "entertainment".

Malaysians matched the global average of 18 per cent who considered shopping as therapeutic while 14 percent of Malaysians deemed shopping as a favourite thing to do.

The surveys found that in Asia, Thailand (79 per cent), Malaysia (78 per cent) and the Philippines (75 per cent) led the countries that deemed grocery shopping a necessary chore.

ACNielsen Malaysia's managing director Steve Watt said shopping had become a national pastime in many Asian countries.

"It is so entrenched in lifestyles in Thailand, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia that governments have wisely turned this national characteristic into a major tourism attraction," he said in a statement, here Wednesday.

Looking ahead, the new emerging Asian tigers of India and Vietnam, with booming young adult populations with unprecedented levels of disposable income, were set to become the shopping meccas of tomorrow, Watt said.

"In these two countries, as well as many more developed parts of Asia such as Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia, shopping malls are entertainment destinations incorporating cinemas, restaurants, food courts and additional sports and entertainment facilities to suit all budgets.

"There are shopping malls with modern facilities catering to all income levels and social groups.

"In congested Asian cities where accommodation is cramped and people often live with extended families, the shopping mall has become a home away from home.

"People go there to escape the worries and stress of work and home life and meet their friends and 'hang out'. The upside of this lifestyle for retailers is that, with the money these consumers save on living at home, there's simply more to spend at the shopping mall," said Watt.

A third of Chinese consumers, one fifth of Indians and one seventh of Malaysians considered clothes shopping as their favourite thing to do, according to the surveys.

On the other hand, nine per cent of the Malaysian respondents said they disliked clothes shopping, behind North America (14 per cent), Australia (12 per cent) and New Zealand (11 per cent) in the global ranking.


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