Almost 15 Hawkers Stalls Empty in Amoy Street Food Centre for Months As New Hawkers Allegedly Cannot Survive There


Familiar with Amoy Street Food Centre?

If you’re one of the many unfortunate ones having to frequent the Central Business District, Amoy Street Food Centre is your wallet’s saviour.

Things aren’t going great, however. As many as 15 hawker stalls there are now empty.

Here’s why.

15 Stalls Currently Vacant

The iconic two-storey hawker centre has one of the widest varieties of affordable hawker food.

However, as many as 15 stalls are currently vacant.

This isn’t a recent occurrence. It’s been the case for a few months now.

A 37-year-old drinks stall owner located on the first floor, Zheng, shared that before the COVID-19 pandemic, there were almost no vacant stalls at the hawker centre.

There were rows and rows of endless good eats – you’ll never be able to finish trying everything there.

Despite the relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions recently, stallholders at Amoy Street Food Centre said that the current foot traffic still pales in comparison to that from pre-COVID-19 times.

Current foot traffic is only hitting 80 per cent of pre-COVID-19 levels.

This fall in customers is mostly due to a large number of office workers still working from home.

Give and take, I guess.

High Rental

A rice bowl stall owner on the first floor shared that some of the currently vacant stalls were run by young entrepreneurs.

Most of them likely first-time hawkers.

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However, the high starting rent meant that your pockets had to be really deep in order for you to make ends meet.


Those that couldn’t generate enough income to do so, had to close after a few months.

To secure a stall at Amoy Street Food Centre, hawkers submit monthly rental bids during the National Environment Agency’s (NEA) monthly tender exercises.

The highest bidder gets the stall.

“Amoy Street Food Centre is very famous. Everyone thinks there will be good business here, so they want to come here and try to set up a stall. But many find that the business is not as good as expected. They cannot sustain it and the stall closes after a few months.”

Over-bidding on Rental Prices

Many ex-coffee shop vendors overbid on rental prices as well.


Biting off more than you can chew.

As such, these hawkers are unable to sustain their stalls in the long run.

Zheng shared that these ex-coffee shop vendors overbid because of the draw of the heavy rent and services subsidies handed out during the pandemic.

“Some of the stalls listed moved here from coffee shops. They believe that hawker centre vendors enjoy government subsidies during the epidemic, so it is more secure to set up stalls in hawker centres. Now coffee shop rents are also rising, so some come from coffee shops. They are all used to high rents, and they are willing to bid no matter how high they are.”

According to NEA, the stall occupancy rate of the food centre was about 90 per cent last month. This was out of a total of 135 stalls.

NEA also added that most of the stalls that are currently vacant are undergoing works to restore their original set-up.


The agency’s website also states that there were three successful bids in the month of August – so perhaps we will have more good food to look forward to again.


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Featured Image: 8world