We always knew that KL was a shopping mecca, but now we have confirmation. The capital has been named the second best city for shopping in the Asia Pacific region, according to the Globe Shopper Index.
"Kuala Lumpur's specific strength is its ability to combine low prices with a good range of products in a large number of stores, including three of the world's 10 biggest shopping malls," the Index noted.
The Globe Shopper Index was created by the Economist Intelligence Unit, in association with The Economist newspaper, and commissioned by Switzerland-based shopping tourism company Global Blue.
The Economist Intelligence Unit collected data from a variety of sources between January and February this year. It rated 25 cities in the region based on five categories: shops, affordability, convenience, hotels & transport, and culture and climate.
KL dominated the shops category, earning 76 points. According to the report, "Malaysia's capital manages to combine low prices with a good range of products and malls."
The city's weakest category is naturally the weather. "For those that do not like the heat, Kuala Lumpur can be a struggle. It scores low for agreeability of climate," the report said.
Even so, there was a saving grace within that category – KL earned praise for offering a wide variety of international cuisine.
The city's overall score of 65.1 was not far behind Hong Kong's 68.5, the top shopping destination according to the Index.
Hong Kong is, after all, renowned worldwide for shopping. So, it is impressive to find proof that KL does give Hong Kong a run for its money.
Shanghai came in third with a score of 63.1, Beijing was fourth at 60.7, while Singapore came in fifth with 60.2.
KL did outscore Hong Kong in the affordability category – 75 versus 58 – because Malaysia offers cheaper products and lower hotel prices. That is an important consideration for tourists, as the combination of variety and cheap prices is what shopping is all about.
The report predicts that KL will perform even better in future indexes because of the Government's efforts to promote retail tourism.
No one was more pleased with the findings of the report than Bukit Bintang-KLCC Tourism Association chairman Joyce Yap, who credited the Government's decision to make shopping a focus in the Economic Transformation Plan (ETP) as a key factor in making the capital a shopper's dream.
The Globe Shopper Index credited the Government's development of KLCC and the Bukit Bintang shopping area for driving growth as a "premier shopping precinct in Malaysia".
This area concentrates shopping and hotels, making it easier for tourists to shop.
There is hardly any major brand that isn't represented in KL, from Armani to Zara. At a prestige mall like Pavilion KL, for instance, one can find Bally, Bottega Veneta, Burberry, and Bulgari. And we have only reached the B's.