Neighbourhood malls post higher profits this year

Most heartland malls have reported significant profits this year, compared to profits recorded last Christmas.

That’s because many customers are snapping up traditional Christmas items there.

At Thomson Plaza, for instance, last-minute shopping is a breeze.

Supermarket giant FairPrice says the sale of traditional favourites like turkey and ham has gone up by at least 30 per cent compared to last year’s.

It has also seen a 15 per cent increase in purchases of festive goodies like wine, chocolates and biscuits.

As the economy improves, more shoppers are hitting the streets. CapitaMalls Asia, which manages five malls in Singapore, has observed five to 10 per cent more shoppers this Christmas.

And many prefer to get their necessities at malls in the heartland, rather than join the crowd in Orchard Road.

One shopper said: “With kids, so it’s difficult to move around in Orchard (road)”.

Another added: “It must be crowded over there, and things must be expensive there as well”.

Over at the newly-opened Nex in Serangoon, the draw of a new mall is still pulling in the crowds.

When it opened a month ago, Nex saw an average of 100,000 shoppers every day.

But this weekend, the number of shoppers has gone up by 30 per cent.

In fact, the management said it expects 2.5 million shoppers this December — which is why it’s taking steps to improve the loading of goods, to ease the movement of vehicles, in the building.

Guthrie Properties executive director Michael Leong said: “We spoke to a number of tenants and we liaise with them and got them to adjust their delivery schedules; space them out.

“But it’s not an easy task because most of them want to deliver their goods at this point of time. They all want to cash in”.

Nex is also deploying more manpower to divert traffic and change the flow of vehicles in the carpark.

And after the Lunar New Year, Nex will start working on a linkway to a nearby multi-storey carpark, to ease parking woes.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 24 Dec 2010

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