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Malaysia Freezes Hypermarket Construction

| Written by Stacy Mitchell | No Comments | Updated on Nov 1, 2003 The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at

Malaysia has placed a five-year ban on the construction of hypermarkets in Klang Valley, which includes Kuala Lumpur, and the states of Johor and Penang. New guidelines also lengthen the approval time for developers seeking to build hypermarkets in other areas from four months to two years.

Hypermarkets are stores larger than 8,000 square meters (86,000 square feet) that sell both department store merchandise and groceries, similar to Wal-Mart supercenters. The global chains Carrefour, Tesco, Makro, and Giant operate hypermarkets in Malaysia.

In announcing the new policy, Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said that the three regions are saturated with hypermarkets and additional development of large stores would adversely impact thousands of small businesses.

Klang Valley has 18 hypermarkets, or one for every 278,000 people. Planning guidelines suggest no more than one per 350,000 people. The U.S. has one supercenter for every 158,000 people.

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About Stacy Mitchell

Stacy Mitchell is co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, and directs its Community-Scaled Economy Initiative, which produces research and analysis, and partners with a range of allies to design and implement policies that curb economic consolidation and strengthen community-rooted enterprise.  She is the author of Big-Box Swindle and also produces a popular monthly newsletter, the Hometown Advantage Bulletin.  Connect with her on twitter and catch her TEDx Talk: Why We Can’t Shop Our Way to a Better Economy. More

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