Today is Hari Merdeka or Merdeka Day (Independence Day). And today also marks the soft opening of Merdeka Mall in Miri. After much delay, the new mall situated opposite Morsjaya Commercial Centre along Miri Airport Road finally opened its door to the public.
And what a letdown!
MERDEKA MALL MIRI has been touted as incorporating a new modern shopping design to provide shoppers with new shopping experience with fully air-con interior, retail shops, specialty stores, fashion outlets, food and restaurants, entertainment, supermarket, departmental store, education centre and space for exhibition and function. Its total build-up area is about 500, 000 sq.ft. It has over 500 car-parking bays located on lower ground floor, level 1 (ground floor) and level 4.
The soft opening today was truly a major letdown. Only a few stores are open for business. Even the anchor tenant Ta Kiong Supermarket did not open for business today.
The crowds were visibly disappointed. After waiting for so long for the mall to open, it is so disheartening to see the mediocre standard of the mall.
The only big store that opens for business today is the APEX Department Store. A walk through this store soon reveals that it is far inferior to Parkson at Bintang Megamall. The design and layout of the store and the quality of the items sold leave a lot to be desired.
As today is the soft opening, there was huge traffic jams in the vicinity of the mall with cars queuing up on the Miri Airport road for their turns to enter the mall’s parking area. But I have an inkling that this mall may turn out to be a massive failure unless Ta Kiong Supermarket can help pull in the crowds when it opens.
I hope the two other shopping malls in the pipeline will be of a much higher standard than Merdeka Mall. Miri deserves some classy shopping malls!