Midlands One-Stop Shopping Centre, Burmah Road (23 January, 2005)
Midlands One Stop (GPS: 5.43349, 100.30654), also called One-Stop Midlands Park Centre, is a shopping centre in Pulau Tikus, Penang. When it opened for business in the mid 1990's, it was one of the more upmarket malls in Penang. Its initial anchor tenant was Looking Good Departmental Store and Supermarket. In addition, other major tenants in its early years have included Popular Bookshop, Watson, KFC, McDonald's, Kenny Roger's and Dave's Deli.
Midlands One Stop was severely affected by the Asian Financial Crisis which hit the local economy in the late 1997. The impact indirectly caused the closure of the Looking Good chain of department stores. Since then, Midlands One Stop has been unable to find another anchor tenant of similar calibre. Over time, the drop in shopper traffic also caused Popular Bookshop to pull out, except for occasions when it holds its book fairs.
One major plight is the stiff competition faced by Midlands Park from the newer and bigger Gurney Plaza which opened in November 2001, and has since drawn away the crowd and kept it. The opening of Gurney Paragon Mall, also in the vicinity, continued to keep the crowd away. Even though they are targetted towards the upscale market, it appears that mid- and lower-level market traffic in the area is too low to fill up the gap.
Today Midlands One Stop is a shadow of its original self. It caters to the lower end of the market, with shops offering low-priced items as reflected in the deteriorated rental rates there. Nonetheless occupancy remains low.
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