Sales at neighbourhood shops take hit with more downtown malls opening

Neighbourhood shops are getting a double whammy lately, according to the Federation of Merchants’ Associations, Singapore.

With many new malls and the integrated resorts opening, it seems fewer people are shopping in the neighbourhood.

The president of the Federation of Merchants’ Associations Chua Ser Keng has noticed a 10 to 20 per cent reduction in shoppers, leading to a 20 per cent fall in sales at the neighbourhood shops.

On the other hand, he said merchants themselves lack cohesion, which has affected their operations.

The association is planning to get the merchants to work together through dialogues and promotional events.

Meanwhile, neighbourhood shops are trying different ways to attract customers, especially the younger crowd.

For instance, a bakery at Hong Kah Point is selling its buns at only 10 cents each.

Its customers have no qualms about waiting in line for them and the bakery sold 900 buns in just an hour.

Over at Toa Payoh, there’s a flea market which is held every Sunday till mid June.

The organiser – Singapore Toa Payoh Central Merchants’ Association – is also reaching through the Internet to young people who are interested in setting up stalls.

The association said response has been good, and it hopes such activities can bring the younger crowd back to the heartlands.

“We find that youngsters nowadays like to go to air-con(ditioned) shopping centres and also to Orchard Road. So we want to basically rejuvenate the HDB retail market,” said Yeo Hiang Meng, president of Singapore Toa Payoh Merchants’ Association.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 23 May 2010

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