Big crowds for Jewel's big brands but it's quieter for other shops, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Big crowds for Jewel's big brands but it's quieter for other shops

This article is more than 12 months old

A quieter opening for some local brands at Changi Airport's new attraction

The six-day period from April 11-16 was billed as a preview, and only those with tickets and invitations were allowed to walk in and enjoy the various offerings and attractions.

But yesterday, Jewel Changi Airport opened its doors to all and predictably, a big crowd turned up, with snaking queues spotted at big brands like Shake Shack, A&W and the Pokemon Centre.

It was a different story for other shops in the 10-storey complex, though.

Just metres away from the Pokemon Centre, homegrown toy shop brand Action City hardly drew any interest.

Mr Hermie Cohen, 30, the assistant supervisor at the shop, was obviously disappointed.

"There's not as many people as compared to the preview days," he told The New Paper.

"We've had a few customers, but all of them have been Singaporeans."

He added that he hopes business will pick up eventually.

Jewel took four years to develop at a cost of $1.7 billion.

About 500,000 people had signed up for free tickets for the public preview.

Mr Lee Jian Sheng, 25, a barista at O'Coffee Club, said: "There were crazy crowds during the preview, but it's been surprisingly quiet during the actual opening."

He said that most of the crowd yesterday headed for the big brand names, leaving other shops empty.


Along a stretch on the first storey dedicated to local brands, Chocolate Origin saw few customers, but owner Don Koh, 40, was upbeat.

"Business is actually better than expected," he said.

"We were not hoping for crowds because it's better for us to have just one or two customers at any one time so we can help them appreciate our products."

He said having a shop at Jewel was more about branding.

"We intend to expand regionally, so this will allow us to have a lot of exposure and get more people familiar with the name," he added.

Yesterday, the food area at Basement 2 was packed, with most stalls seeing brisk business.

The much-hyped waterfall was also a huge draw.

Measuring 40m, it is the tallest indoor waterfall in the world.

It is located in Jewel's Forest Valley and is surrounded by lush indoor greenery.

A spokesman for Jewel said the complex expects up to 50 million visitors annually.

Changi Airport saw a record 65.6 million passenger movements last year.

Mr Patrick Gronhoj, 27, a software developer from Denmark who came to Singapore for a holiday, was at Jewel just after noon yesterday even though his flight was only at 10pm.

He described it as a beautiful complex he wished he had back home.

"It's quite beautiful, the visual flavour," he said.

"It's similar to the malls in town, but more flashy.

"I really like the waterfall, and that's going to continue to be a huge draw for many people."