Busi­nesses saw sales drop as much as 70pc dur­ing Trump Kim sum­mit

The Myanmar Times - - International / Business -

BUSI­NESSES in the Tan­glin-Or­chard gazetted ar­eas heaved a sigh of re­lief as both US pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un pre­pared to depart on Tues­day (June 12) af­ter their his­toric meet­ing in the morn­ing.

The height­ened se­cu­rity over the last three days had taken a toll on them, with sales dwin­dling by as much as up to 70 per cent.

Mr Jack Ang, 35, a su­per­vi­sor at Photo print­ing com­pany Fo­toHub in Fo­rum the Shop­ping Mall, said sales had been hit by about 70 per cent. “Cus­tomers are scared that (the po­lice) can block the roads any­time, es­pe­cially cus­tomers that are driv­ing,” he said. Mr Ang noted that most of his sales come from those with ap­point­ments at em­bassies and that with the gazetting of the area, cus­tomers just go “some­where else”.

A sec­tion of Tan­glin and Or­chard Road cov­er­ing St Regis ho­tel, where Mr Kim was putting up, and Shangri-La ho­tel, where Mr Trump was stay­ing, had been gazetted as a “spe­cial event area” since Sun­day. Un­der the gazette or­der, any­one who is in, or seek­ing to en­ter, the area must al­low an in­spec­tion or search to be made of the per­son.

The or­der also stated that any­one in or en­ter­ing the area must not bring in pro­hib­ited items. These in­clude any ex­plo­sives or arms, any nox­ious or of­fen­sive sub­stance, as well as re­motely con­trolled air­craft sys­tems.

Sales had dropped by be­tween 10 and 20 peo­ple per day over the last two days, said Ms El­iz­a­beth Wee, 21, a part-time shop as­sis­tant at a toy shop in Fo­rum. Sim­i­larly, at Tan­glin Mall, a sales as­so­ciate with hard­ware store Home-Fix who gave his name only as Dar­wis saw daily sales dip­ping by “about S$500 to S$1,000”, with many cus­tomers reschedul­ing the days for them to pick-up their items from the shop.

Walk-in busi­ness had dwin­dled to zero for an aes­thetic clinic along Tu­dor Court. A staff mem­ber of the clinic who gave her name only as Ra­diah, 44, said: “Most of (the cus­tomers) had to resched­ule the ap­point­ments. We usu­ally do have some walk ins but now we don’t, be­cause it is very quiet out­side be­cause of (the sum­mit).”

Cashier Lo­ges Vera, 27, who works at Shi­raz Ke­babs lo­cated right out­side the Fo­rum said she hasn’t been able to ex­plain to her man­ager why there is a big drop in the night­time crowd walk­ing past, and why sales are not com­ing in. Al­though the se­cu­rity had cast a pall on most busi­ness, a handful had found them­selves do­ing a roar­ing good trade.

At the McDon­alds in Fo­rum, break­fast was an un­usu­ally busy time for the staff. There were “sud­denly so many jour­nal­ists here in the morn­ing and many or­ders, we didn’t ex­pect this,” said a staff mem­ber who de­clined to be named.

How­ever, food de­liv­ery had to be sus­pended for half-hour blocks over the past two days when­ever the roads were blocked for the en­try and de­par­ture of Mr Kim’s mo­tor­cade at St Regis ho­tel.

“The cus­tomers were usu­ally an­gry (with the de­lay), un­til we ex­plained to them the sit­u­a­tion,” the staff mem­ber said, adding that this sum­mit had brought “pros and cons” to the busi­ness.

Be­sides the gen­eral de­cline in sales, the ad­di­tional se­cu­rity also meant in­con­ve­niences for those work­ing in the area, who found them­selves hav­ing to take a longer hike to work.

Photo: TO­DAY

The height­ened se­cu­rity in the Tan­glin-Or­chard gazetted ar­eas over the last three days had taken a toll on busi­nesses, with sales dwin­dling by as much as up to 70 per cent.

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