The Store will bring new life to Komtar

The fortunes of Penang's first shopping centre and superstructure - Kompleks Tun Abdul Razak (Komtar) - are set to be revived soon with the entry of The Store Corp Bhd.

The company yesterday pledged to invest RM20 million as the anchor tenant of the 65-storey complex, via its subsidiary Pacific Departmental Store in George Town.

It plans to open its new outlet at Komtar by year-end and create 400 new jobs in the process.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, who welcomed the investment, has also said all efforts will be made to woo more investors to Komtar, which serves as the seat of the state administration.

In the last five years, the mushrooming of shopping malls and other retail centres in other parts of Penang saw a decline in Komtar when both the complex's anchor tenants - Super Departmental Store and Aktif Lifestyle - ceased operations.

This caused many owners and tenants of shoplots in the podium area to close down.

Komtar Assemblyman Ng Wei Aik, who heads a committee to revamp the complex, said the state government - via the Penang Development Corp - is in talks with three parties keen to be Komtar's second anchor tenant.

"Two of the parties are Penang-based, while the other is from Kuala Lumpur," he told Business Times.

Pacific Hypermarket and Departmental Store Sdn Bhd executive director Charlie Tan said the company is targeting revenue of RM80 million for the first year of operation.

"We will have a departmental store and hypermarket in Komtar catering to the middle and upper markets," he told reporters after a tenancy signing agreement between The Store and PDC in George Town.

Lim witnessed the signing of the deal, which will see The Store occupying 138,704 sq ft of retail space for 18 years.

By Marina Emmanuel (Business Times)

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