Parkway Parade to close for two more days
Parkway Parade retailers worry about impact on business
There was a flood of calls from his customers on Monday after Parkway Parade shopping mall abruptly closed.
Mr Lee Kok Lam, 45, owner of The Butcher, a shop that purveys premium meats and condiments in the basement of the mall, told The New Paper that his customers were confused as to when they could go down to the shop.
He decided to redirect them to his online store, and reduced the $100 minimum purchase for free home delivery.
He said: "We didn't want to compromise on their convenience just because we had to close our store.
"Some of them who spent $30, $40 - I also sent the food to them."
Parkway Parade has been closed since Monday after a fire broke out in the shop Fox Kids and Baby on the second floor on Sunday night.
It was reported that the fire broke out in the shop's storeroom. There were no reported injuries.
On Monday morning, the security team turned retail assistants and customers away.
Yesterday, the mall's management said they would close the mall for a further two days. (See report above.)
It was not great news for Mr Lee.
While there have been more orders made through his online store, they do not make up for the losses he has sustained so far. Mondays and Tuesdays are his "best days" - when his customers tend to stock up for the week.
He said: "So when we close the store on just those two days in a month, we lose about 10% in profit."
He added that he is still assessing the damage. Though his shop was not flooded, Mr Lee was more concerned about the perishables that he might have to throw out.
"We just had a new shipment in last week," Mr Lee said, adding that he was unsure when the chiller was switched off as some of the frozen meat appeared to have defrosted.
Ms Penny Loh, owner of clothing store The Style Closet, which is also located on the second floor, spoke about the flooded floors and soot marks she saw.
"On my way to my store, I saw that the neighbouring stores were in bad shape, and many of their things were covered in soot, so I was worried," said the 49-year-old.
"But now I realise that I'm one of the fortunate ones because the items in my store are still salvageable," she said. Most of her clothing stocks did not get wet because they were hung on racks.
"The smell on clothes can be easily removed, but once the they are soaked in dirty water, I'll have to throw all of them out," she said.
But the charred smell was so strong it caused her head to ache, she said.
The tenant of the mall for more than 10 years was worried about the closure and said: "We are a small company so we rely heavily on daily profits.
"So even though the mall's closure is only for a couple of days, it's still a big impact to my business."
But Ms Loh gave credit to the mall's management for bringing in a cleaning team. "Now that the clean-up is done, I'm focusing on doing the paperwork that I need to do to claim insurance," she said.
An Isetan spokesman told TNP that the condition of the store is fine, except that it requires a thorough cleaning.
The spokesman added: "We are unable to ascertain the value that was lost as it will be done by our insurer."