Singapore

Hawkers who moved from Old Woodlands say business has dropped

Ms Annie Ng, 50, used to get up to 1,000 customers at her drinks stall at the hawker centre in the Old Woodlands Town Centre.

Ms Ng, who ran that stall for eight years, now says she has fewer than 50 customers a day at her new stall at the Marsiling Mall Hawker Centre.

It is where 80 per cent of the 68 hawkers from the old town centre have moved to.

"It is difficult to cover costs now," said Ms Ng, who used to start as early as 4am to catch the morning shift workers but now opens at 9am as there are no morning customers.

She said she is paying 30 per cent more in rent now as well.

Like Ms Ng, several hawkers at the Marsiling Mall Hawker Centre in Woodlands Street 12 said business at the new hawker centre is slower.

Stallholders from the Old Woodlands Town Centre had to vacate their old premises last December to make room for the extension of the Woodlands Checkpoint.

Mr Cheah Kim Seng, 53, an employee at a tonic soup stall, said the lack of parking spaces at Marsiling Mall Hawker Centre, especially for motorcycles, has caused him to lose most of his old customers.

He said 80 per cent of his regular customers were motorcyclists who cross the Causeway from Malaysia.

"Earlier, there would be a lot of customers, especially in the mornings and afternoons. But now, there is nobody in the mornings and afternoons," he said.

The hawker centre is about 700m from Marsiling MRT station and 1.3km from Woodlands MRT station.

But Mr Cheah said residents living near the Marsiling Mall, as well as customers who regularly turn up for dinner, help make up for the fall in customers during the day.

"Business is not as good as before, but we are still doing all right," he said.

Ms Azrin Amran, 33, an employee at a Malay food stall, said she has seen about a 30 per cent fall in the number of customers and about a 20 per cent drop in profits since the stall moved.

"From 2pm to 5pm, there are very few people here. But at the old place, there were people throughout the day," she said.

She is looking forward to the Chinese New Year period, when she hopes there will be a larger crowd.

Food & Drink