One of my fondest childhood memories would be strolling down the aisles of department stores with my parents and having to pick out groceries with them. However, the fate of many stores have taken a turn since then and we had to bid farewell to them.
Here are some of the department stores that have closed down in Singapore, and the meaning that it holds to many Singaporeans.
1. John Little
Just like Metro, John Little was one of the most iconic department stores in Singapore and also the oldest. The store used to have seven other branches across the island – in Specialists’ Shopping Centre, Northpoint, White Sands, Causeway Point, Jurong Point, Compass Point and Parkway Parade.
The 174-year-old store closed down in 2016.
After 15 years in Singapore, Carrefour decided to pull the plug on its operations. From furniture to electronics to groceries, you can find everything inside Carrefour. One of the biggest pitfalls of Carrefour was that it sold too many similar products and you see no one willing to spend more for similar products.
Being one of Singapore’s biggest department store and supermarket, it catered mainly to Japanese tourists and expatriates, a good strategy then as the yen was strong and the number of Japanese tourists was on the rise.
Now, it’s Daiso that’s taking over Singapore.
Yup, one of the most prominent department stores you’ll see in most countries overseas. It opened it’s first outlet in Takashimaya in 2000, and closed down soon after due to the bankruptcy of SOGO Japan.
5. Singapore Shui Hing
Opened in August 1980, the Hong Kong-owned store promised a taste of New York, but failed to attract crowds. It closed in 1983, so it’s not a surprise if you haven’t seen it before.
6. Yao Han
Opened in Plaza Singapura in 1974, it was Singapore’s biggest supermarket and department store. In 1997, its parent company in Japan went bust and its last branch in Thomson closed.
7. Oriental Emporium
The Emporium was started by a Chinese entrepreneur, Lim Tow Yong. pair of Teochew brothers from a traditional family of farmers in Suatow decided to venture out into Nanyang for a better life.
The products ranged from basic necessities to mattresses, blankets, pillows, lipsticks, perfume and pens.
Fronted by a huge carpark, the supermarket was later torn down to accommodate an extension of Paragon. After all, in a land scarce Singapore, huge carparks are also part of her history now.
Featured Image: TK Kurikawa / Shutterstock.com
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