Foot Locker at Orchard Gateway ordered to suspend operations for breaching COVID-19 rules

Foot Locker at Orchard Gateway ordered to suspend operations for breaching COVID-19 rules

Footlocker Dec 4 (3)
This photo circulated on social media shows a crowd outside a Foot Locker outlet at Orchard Gateway on Dec 4, 2020. 

SINGAPORE: The Foot Locker store at Orchard Gateway @ Emerald has been ordered to suspend operations for 10 days for failing to comply with COVID-19 safe management measures, said the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and Enterprise Singapore (ESG) in a joint media statement on Saturday (Dec 5).

This comes after large crowds were seen outside the store on Friday night. 

"Large crowds had gathered at the outlet for a product launch on Dec 4, despite repeated advisories by public enforcement agencies on crowd management," said the agencies. 

The suspension will last until Dec 14.  

Footlocker Dec 4
These photos circulated on social media show a crowd outside a Foot Locker outlet at Orchard Gateway and Police Tactical Unit vehicles on the scene, Dec 4, 2020. 

READ: Investigations under way after crowds gather outside Foot Locker at Orchard Gateway: STB

During this period, the Foot Locker outlet is not allowed to conduct physical retail activities but may continue to continue selling products online. 

"STB and Enterprise Singapore are also engaging Foot Locker Singapore on the measures it will take for future product launches, including the potential cessation of all such physical launches at Foot Locker locations across Singapore," said the agencies. 

Footlocker Dec 4 (4)
This photo circulated on social media shows a crowd outside a Foot Locker outlet at Orchard Gateway on Dec 4, 2020. 

In response to CNA's queries, STB said earlier on Saturday that it was investigating the matter after photos and videos of the crowd circulated on social media.

STB said the crowds dispersed after safe distancing officers and the police arrived at around 8.30pm.

“STB takes a serious view of any breach in safe management measures, and will not hesitate to take actions against individuals and businesses that do not comply with them,” the tourism board told CNA.

Footlocker Dec 4 (6)
Crowds outside the Foot Locker outlet at Orchard Gateway on Dec 4, 2020. (Photo: Twitter/Papalovel)

Retail businesses are "strongly advised" to hold virtual or online sales, instead of organising physical product launches that may attract large crowds, said STB and ESG.

"If physical launches are held, businesses must ensure they have robust plans for safe management measures in place, including crowd management and capacity limits," they added.

"The Government takes a serious view of any breach in safe management measures, and will not hesitate to take action against individuals and businesses that do not comply with them, including fines and temporary store closures."

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Source: CNA/kv(gs)

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