Singapore

Bidder ends deal on $10,000 bid for Chomp Chomp hawker stall

This article is more than 12 months old

A woman who successfully bid for a hawker stall with a monthly rental of over $10,000 had a change of heart, and she ended the tenancy agreement for the stall to sell drinks on the same day she signed it, the National Environment Agency (NEA) said yesterday.

Calling the $10,028 bid for the Chomp Chomp Food Centre stall an "outlier", NEA added that it was the highest successful tender bid received to date.

The tender bid was made last month by Ms Lim Ah Ber for $10,028 a month to rent a stall in popular food haunt Chomp Chomp Food Centre to sell drinks. She received a Letter of Offer on Aug 21.

NEA said the average successful tender bid received for cooked food stalls at Chomp Chomp since June last year was $1,707.50.

The agency told The Straits Times that the average successful tender bid for its cooked food stalls over the last three years is $1,514 a month.

NEA said the lowest bid was $5 and the highest $5,001, excluding an "outlier bid" of $10,000 in 2016 for a stall at People's Park hawker centre. In the outlier case, the bidder also terminated his tenancy before he started operations.

Some Chomp Chomp stall owners told ST that Ms Lim's business would not have been profitable if she went ahead with the agreement.

Mr Charlie Goh, 68, owner of Charlie Corner Health Fresh Juices, said: "It's hard for me to make $3,000 each month, let alone $10,000."

In a letter published by ST last year, NEA addressed public concerns about high hawker bids driving up food prices.

It cited a government study on the possible drivers affecting hawker food prices, which showed that stall rentals form only about 12 per cent of total costs.

Ms Lim's bid for the Chomp Chomp stall was almost triple that of the second highest tender bid of $3,504.68, which was submitted by Mr Lim Junjie, according to a document listing the successful bidders in July posted on the NEA website.

Mr Lim won the bid for another similar stall in Chomp Chomp, with a rent of $4,018.70. He will also be selling drinks .

NEA said Ms Lim signed the tenancy agreement after receiving the Letter of Offer, so she will not be debarred from participating in future tender exercises and will have her deposit returned.

The agency said stallholders who want to terminate their tenancy agreement must give one month's notice and pay their monthly rental and other operating charges. - ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY GILAINE NG

BUSINESS & FINANCE