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The Great Pyramid

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Sunway Pyramid, the shopping mall that opened its doors in 1997 to the public is today, a retail-conquering goliath. With another Malaysian Property Award (MPA) tucked safely under Pyramid’s belt last year, the Sunway giant looks unstoppable.

The recent MPA win under the Retail Development category for Sunway Pyramid is a repeat of the first win back in 2000, this time it was the result of Sunway City Bhd’s (SunCity) RM550 million expansion of Pyramid; a plan that transformed it into a four million sq ft juggernaut of a mall.

Speaking to Kevin Tan, Chief Operating Officer of Sunway Shopping Malls, he explains that Sunway Pyramid is just one component part of a bigger picture in the form of Sunway Integrated Resort City (SIRC), a synergized connection between components like the theme park, hotel, medical centre, corporate offices and universities that truly separates Pyramid from other stand-alone malls in the country.

The four shopping floors of Sunway Pyramid has a total net lettable retail area of 1.7 million sq ft, room enough to house 800 retail outlets in the mall including anchor tenants Jusco, Parkson, TGV Cinema, Sunway Mega Lanes, Sunway Pyramid Convention Centre and Sunway Pyramid Ice, Malaysia’s largest indoor skating rink. The details and numbers are astounding, with an approximate 3.5 million visitors a month, Sunway Pyramid holds 10,000 parking spaces in and around the mall complex, where an innovative parking guidance system point visitors to available parking spaces, effectively reducing carbon emissions, optimizing time and organizing traffic.

When upgrading works started in 2007, Sunway was careful in planning their design so as to maintain the mall’s signature Egyptian-inspired theme, the Pyramid trademark. Embellishments were then done to the mall’s interior and exterior, like the addition of statuettes and hieroglyphs to the façade. But the most obvious inclusion this time are the two domes, the Orange Atrium and Blue Atrium, adding to the mall’s iconic lion statue that sits by the entrance, reflective of the true Egyptian theme.

The Orange Atrium, which was inspired by the Sun God Ra, is a splendid structure featuring a creative sun design on it while the Blue Atrium on the other hand takes the Great Nile River into design, with panels to create thewave effects. With the shopping centre in full swing, the management divided the mall into five themed sections to really capture the attention of mall-goers; Fashion Central, Oasis Boulevard, Asian Avenue, Marrakesh and Kidz Zone. Fashion Central serves as the place to go when on the prowl for the latest in designer articles while Asian Avenue slides toward the hip street trends of today’s youths.

Marrakesh, a section inspired by the busy bazaars of Morocco offers an array of goods ranging from exotic pipes to leather bags. Moms on the other hand would love Kidz Zone, offering clothing and of course toys for the little ones. Buzzing socialites will stream over to trendy restaurants, cafes and clubs at the Oasis Boulevard, for a simple morning caffeine fix, a sip of their favourites in the evenings or just to dance the buzz away during weekends.

“We emphasize ‘experiential’ shopping. The experience here is unique and never boring,” says Kevin. The “Egyptian” Pyramid racked up numerous awards over the years, and recently won Malaysia retailer-Chains Association (MRCA)’s Most Supportive Shopping Mall award. Also during the Malaysia Mega Sale Carnival in 2010, it won Best Thematic Decoration and Best Promotions and Events awards respectively under the Suburban category, crowned champion time and time again. According to Kevin, “The awards are acknowledgments of our efforts, but the priority is delivering excellence to customers”.

This wonderful world of shopping created by SunCity has been outstanding so far and it seems like 2011 will be another year to look forward to with plans in the oven for a new third phase adjacent to the mall. This shopping haven must truly be one of the greatest, having recently performed in the Sunway Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT), Pyramid shines not only as a retail magnet but also as a gathering place, a melting-pot for Malaysians, living up to its tagline perfectly – A Unique Shopping Adventure!