Stock in the shopping centre has been covered in mould. Picture: Facebook/Nex Nezeum.
Stock in the shopping centre has been covered in mould. Picture: Facebook/Nex Nezeum.

Stores, cinemas reopen to mould-covered stock after lockdown

Shocking images have been shared on social media as Malaysia begins reopening its shopping centres, with store owners making a toxic discovery.

One store owner noted that while restrictions have been lifted, there was "no point" opening for trade as most of his leather goods had succumbed to mould after being left in a closed store for two months.

Sharing photos of mouldy leather shoes and mould-covered bags (still on fixtures), commenters were quick to thank the man for raising awareness as other countries remain in lockdown.

Garnering more than 12,000 reactions on Facebook, several commenters also remarked how quickly "nature took over" once stores were shut down.

The photos were believed to have been taken at Metrojaya shopping centre in Kota Kinabalu.

Can open shop also no point...goods all damaged after being left in shop for 2 mths...😥

Posted by Nex Nezeum on Sunday, 10 May 2020

"We would like to address a social media posting involving our Metrojaya Suria Sabah store which has been circulating online," the mall said in a statement.

The statement also assured shoppers that all of the damaged goods have been replaced and staff in PPE were cleaning and disinfecting the shopping centre before reopening.
A store owner at a shopping centre in Pulau Tikus - a northwestern suburb of George Town in Penang, Malaysia - told The Star that the mould could have been a by-product of poor ventilation and humidity.


"As the mall temperature depends on the air-conditioning, sometimes it may be humid when the cool temperature suddenly rises," said the store owner, who wanted to be known as Chong.

"This causes a sudden increase in water vapour in the surrounding air, making it more likely for mould to grow," said the 47-year-old.

"It makes the products look less attractive but it does not affect their function. All we did was use a bit of oil and polish them with a clean cloth, " he said.

Chong's shop - where he found mould growing on some wallets, leather backpacks and handbags - has been closed since the start of the movement control order (MCO) in Malaysia.

Another wallet and bag seller in the same shopping precinct - who wanted to be known as Lai - said most of her products were fine as they "wrapped them in paper for storage" before the lockdown took effect.

So it seems you guys love mould? 😄

Posted by Nex Nezeum on Monday, 11 May 2020

In Petaling Jaya, Malaysia Retail Chain Association (MRCA) president Datuk Seri Garry Chua said losses from damage of goods during the MCO period were rare.

"I think there are remote cases where there were damage of goods, but MRCA members have not had issues with that," said Chua, The Star reports.

He said the focus now must be for retailers and shopping centres to work together to attract more customers and boost sales.

"Shopping malls must have aggressive promotions to help retailers," he said, as well as encouraging retailers to perform regular temperature checks and provide hand sanitisers in store to boost shopper confidence.

Originally published as Stores, cinemas reopen to toxic mould

We take it very seriously in cleaning and disinfecting our stores to ensure a safe and healthy experience to our valued...

Posted by Metrojaya on Monday, 11 May 2020

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