KUALA LUMPUR: Despite the movement control order, there is a flurry of activity at digital malls across the country as demand for IT equipment surges.

With many working from home and students having to turn to online learning, desktops and laptops are the main items on the shopping list for many who seek to upgrade their “work/study from home” spaces.

At Low Yat Plaza yesterday, there were even those who clutched on to their old laptops as they headed to repair stores.

Adrian Maximus, a sales person at an IT gadget store there, said sales of IT equipment had been picking up since the second round of the MCO began on Jan 13.

“It’s better now. Some days are good, especially holidays, ” said the 19-year-old, who said his salary mainly comprised commission from sales.

Another computer salesman, who wanted to be known as Chan, however, said lack of stock was a problem.

“If we had enough stock to meet demand, we could achieve our target, ” said the 32-year-old.

A stroll at the smartphone section of the mall found that the crowd level was slightly lesser than the computer section.

A salesperson, who only wanted to be known as Dan, said the sale of smartphone was not as brisk as computers.

Sarah Tan, a 27-year-old marketing executive, said her husband and her were working from home these days.

Tan was seen helping her husband carry many bags as they bought a printer/scanner, mouse and a new keyboard at the mall.

“It is an investment because he mostly needs to work at home, and it’s tough to do it without the proper equipment, ” she added.

In Bukit Mertajam, sales of computers and gadgets are seeing a sudden spike.

Computer shop manager Amir Rashid Amir Hamzah, 29, said more people were buying computers and laptops from his shop since MCO 2.0 started.

“Most of my customers said they were buying for their use or for their children’s online learning, ” he said at his shop in Taman Seri Rambai yesterday.

Amir Rashid said due to the high demand, printers were also close to being sold out at his shop.

He said that besides brand new laptops, there was also a demand for refurbished ones at his shop, adding that most of his customers looked for new or used laptops in the RM500 to RM1,500 price range.

Another computer shop operator, Jimmy Khor, 37, said laptops of various brands were out of stock since the new year as there were too many orders from customers.

“Most of the laptops that are out of stock are from the range priced below RM2,000.

“My customers mainly look for laptops for their own use and for their children’s online lessons at home, ” he said.

Khor said some customers opted for tablets when told that laptops had been sold out.

In George Town, computer shop owner Victor Lee, 31, said he could sell between 20 and 30 laptops a month.

“If I had more stock, I would sell more. Business has been great as students and teachers need their laptops or tablets to attend classes online.

“Before the pandemic, most people relied on their handphones but now they need to buy laptops for their children, ” he added.

“We sell used and new laptops but parents usually opt for second-hand ones as it is cheaper and works fine, ” he said at his shop in Prangin Mall.