Some Little India shops consider scaling back alcohol sales amid restrictions
- POSTED: 19 Dec 2013 21:32
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Some shopkeepers at Little India said they are considering scaling back on the sale of alcohol and looking to diversify their businesses in order to make up for losses -- as the police announced recalibrated measures for the sale and consumption of alcohol in the area on Wednesday.
SINGAPORE: Some shopkeepers at Little India said they are considering scaling back on the sale of alcohol and looking to diversify their businesses in order to make up for losses -- as the police announced recalibrated measures for the sale and consumption of alcohol in the area on Wednesday.
The police began notifying the 374 affected outlets about the revised alcohol ban on Thursday, with about 20 officers handing out notification letters.
For retail store Newarasi Trading, alcohol makes up about 80 per cent of sales on weekends.
But with the sale of alcohol now restricted from 6am to 8pm on weekends, public holidays and eve of public holidays, it said business is expected to dip.
Kailasam, owner of Newarasi Trading, said: "My customers (come in at) 8 to 10pm… So at that time we're closing, (we) cannot sell (alcohol)."
For another shop, Home of Spices, its concern is the ban on consumption of alcohol in public areas. It said most of its customers like to have their drink in public areas, and to cope, it is considering modifying its business model.
70 per cent of the shop’s sales used to be from alcohol.
P N Rajan, owner of Home of Spices, said: “(Compared to) last time, we cannot sell so much; that's why I have to reduce the liquor order. I have to go and increase the (sale) of vegetables, groceries."
As for establishments like restaurants and coffeeshops which are allowed to sell alcohol throughout -- consumption has to be within their premises.
However, some outlets Channel NewsAsia spoke to, said the enforcement of that may be a challenge.
Hawkers at Tekka Centre said it may be difficult to keep track of customers.
One hawker said: "We have to tell them that they can't drink outside. But when we're busy, how can we keep an eye on them?"
But shops said the impact goes beyond the alcohol ban.
Some said that business is suffering because the crowd has stayed away after the riot took place on December 8.
Nagarajan, owner of Village Curry Authentic India Food, said: "After 8pm, the area is very quiet. We have to shift somewhere, we're thinking about that."
As for another food outlet, Nandini’s Restaurant, which has converted an alley into a dining area, it said its customers will no longer be able to drink there because the area is not considered part of its premises.
The revised measures will be in place for at least six months until the Committee of Inquiry looking into the riot has made its recommendations.