Malaysian firms offer 6% discounts ahead of GST removal on June 1

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PETALING JAYA Businesses in Malaysia have begun putting up 6 per cent discount offers in response to the Government's decision to zero rate the goods and services tax (GST) from June 1.

This is aimed at boosting sales even before the hugely unpopular GST is done away with in just days.

While some retailers slashed prices by offering a 6 per cent discount off all their products, others dished out discounts if a minimum purchase amount has been met.

Luxury and lifestyle retailer Valiram launched a sales campaign offering its customers a 6 per cent discount off items from brands such as Michael Kors, Bath & Body Works, Charles & Keith, Kate Spade New York and Tumi.

"From May 18 to 31, GST will stand for Great Savings Today as we offer customers an early taste of a zero-rated GST shopping experience," the retailer said on Saturday.

Harvey Norman Malaysia is also offering a 6 per cent discount to customers at its outlets, while electronics and furniture retailer Courts Malaysia has also jumped on the bandwagon.

Another retail giant, Marks and Spencer, is offering a 6 per cent discount off minimum purchases of RM150 (S$50).

Habib Jewels is also knocking 6 per cent off prices of jewellery till May 31.

Steaks and Lobsters is offering diners a 10 per cent discount off their bills when eating in at the outlet in Desa Sri Hartamas until May 31.

Malaysia Retail Chain Association president Garry Chua said he expected an overall reduction in prices.

"Consumers are happy and the sentiment is positive.This will drive back incremental sales for all retail sectors," he said.

Malaysia-Singapore Coffee Shop Proprietors' General Association president Ho Su Mong said with zero-rated GST, more coffee shop owners would be moved to reduce the price of drinks and foodstuff.

Federation of Sundry Goods Merchants Association president Hong Chee Meng expected its some 4,000 members to enjoy increased sales from now on.