Karaoke Manekineko Closed Down All Outlets, But Says “It’s Not Goodbye”

Ever since the pandemic started and singing was not allowed under COVID-19 regulations, karaoke outlets islandwide have been hanging by a thin thread—many have remained close for over a year. 

Earlier this year, when popular karaoke chain Teo Heng KTV announced that it was not closing down after all, contrary to all the reports, many breathed a sigh of relief. 

Now, it looks like there’s yet another karaoke chain that is closing down. 

Karaoke Manekineko Announces Closure 

In a Facebook post on Wednesday (17 May), Karaoke Manekineko announced that all of its outlets islandwide were closed as of 5 May. They did not give a reason for this late announcement, however.

In the post, they wrote that they would “like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude and thanks to all customers who [supported] us”. 

While it is indeed sad to see them go, long-time customers need not be worried: it seems like Karaoke Manekineko still plans on returning someday.

Ending their announcement on an optimistic note, the Japanese karaoke chain made it clear that “it’s not goodbye, it’s until we meet again”. 

Karaoke Chain Will Be Missed by Many 

Karaoke Manekineko had eight outlets in Singapore: Orchard Cineleisure, SCAPE, Bugis+, Lucky Chinatown, Marina Square, SAFRA Jurong, SAFRA Punggol, and Tampines 1. 

The Japanese karaoke chain was known for its colourful and vibrant rooms, as well as their serving of buffet spreads for its customers. 

Teo Heng KTV Closure Scare

In January this month, popular local karaoke chain Teo Heng KTV had also announced that it would be closing down all its outlets and leaving the KTV industry. 

As you could imagine, this caused quite an uproar—Teo Heng KTV was a long-time, homegrown KTV chain that had been started 31 years ago.

Just as many were mourning the closure of such a beloved KTV chain, Teo Heng announced in an update that they would not be closing down after all.

Phew, that was a close shave.

Jackson Teo, founder of Teo Heng KTV, had reportedly lost over $2 million after its outlets were forced to close following the COVID-19 outbreak in Singapore last year. 

Thankfully, it seemed like they’ve managed to find another way to tide over this period. On 18 March, Teo Heng KTV announced that it would be reopening three outlets in Singapore. However, instead of opening KTV rooms to sing, these rooms could instead be booked for other activities

KTV Industry Pivots to Stay Afloat Amid Tough Times

With COVID-19 regulations banning singing in karaoke outlets, many KTV outlets were instead forced to change their business strategy. 

Many companies chose to convert their KTV rooms to rooms that were available for booking. Instead of singing, one could book a room for a birthday party, to study, or just to chill and hang out. 

Needless to say, with the new restrictions of a maximum of two in a group, that has affected these KTV outlets, too.

That being said, I’m sure they (and us, the singing-starved populace) still look forward to the day when singing is finally allowed in karaoke rooms.

Feature Image: Facebook (Karaoke Manekineko Singapore)