After having been ranked by CNN as world’s fourth-best shopping destination, Kuala Lumpur is finally on the world shopping map, right after big metropolitan cities such as New York, Tokyo and London. Surprising? We think not, and it’s easy to see why, as KL has legions of massive shopping centres and lively local markets all around the city stocking anything and everything under the sun – from international luxury brand name goods to the latest mobile phones. The Malaysian Ringgit also plays a big part of Kuala Lumpur’s attractiveness. Prices are low to suit the local market, and compared to the Aussie and US dollars, the ringgit is a much cheaper currency.
Recognising this, the Malaysian Tourism Board has decided to step it up a notch by organising countrywide sales twice a year. The end of the first half of the year sees the 1Malaysia Mega Sale Carnival, this year held on throughout July and August, with discounts up to 70%. This is an important time of the year, as locals flood the malls to grab shiny new purchases for upcoming festivals such as Hari Raya and Deepavali. Department stores are especially tempting, with unique shopping bags only for sale items, and Gift-With-Purchase offers such as limited edition makeup, handbags and clothing.
Besides great deals on various merchandise items, shoppers are also entitled to special offers from various credit card companies. For example, MasterCard awards selective cardholders with free vacations to luxury retreats around Malaysia for those who spend more than RM300 during the sale period. A special event called ‘BeJEWELLED’ is also organized for shoppers to take advantage of great gifts when shopping at select jewellery stores in Kuala Lumpur, so there is certainly no reason not to buy gifts for your loved ones back home if you’re around during this time of the year.
Furthermore, in conjunction with the mega sale, the annual KL International Fashion Week will be held at Pavilion Kuala Lumpur shopping mall to showcase some of the best local fashion to prospective buyers. Made-in-Malaysia designers such as Mimpikita, Syomir Izwa and PU3 will all grace the runways with their latest collections, and if you are interested in knowing more about the local fashion industry, spending an afternoon at the KL Fashion Week will give you an idea of what and where to shop.
Where to go for great shopping
One of the most obvious places to hit during the sales is the Bukit Bintang-KLCC strip, otherwise known as BBKLCC. The BBKLCC is a duty-free shopping zone consisting of nine of the biggest shopping malls in the vicinity, all within walking distance of each other. With tourist privileges cards available at four of these malls, shoppers can expect many rewards, including special discounts and gifts when making purchases.
- Pavilion Kuala Lumpur (Monorail Bukit Bintang) – Designer, local fashion
- Fahrenheit 88 (Monorail Bukit Bintang) – Youth fashion and lifestyle stores
- Suria KLCC (LRT KLCC) – Luxury fashion at Petronas Twin Tower
- Starhill Gallery (Monorail Bukit Bintang) – Luxury fashion
- Sungai Wang Plaza (Monorail Bukit Bintang) – Youth fashion focused on trends from Korea and Japan
- Plaza Low Yat (Monorail Bukit Bintang) – IT accessories and latest gadgets
- BB Plaza (Monorail Bukit Bintang) – local boutiques with great bargains
- Lot 10 (Monorail Bukit Bintang) – fashion stores with great food choices at the food court
- Berjaya Times Square (Monorail Imbi) – Youth fashion with an indoor theme park
- One Utama (LRT Kelana Jaya) – International mid-range brands
- Sunway Pyramid – International mid-range brands interconnected with a sprawling theme park