SINGAPORE: The targeted last day of trading for Funan DigitaLife Mall is Jun 30, 2016, said Ms Tan Pei Cheng, centre manager of the mall.
CapitaLand Mall Trust Management (CMTL) announced on Thursday that the mall will close in the third quarter of next year for redevelopment over a span of three years.
Ms Tan told Channel NewsAsia that the mall management was continuing to work with tenants to plan events and promotions, in order to boost traffic and sales until Funan's closure. For 2016, the mall has scheduled a Chinese New Year promotion in January and February, an electronic and gaming expo in March and a mega sale in April. It also intends to participate in the Great Singapore Sale and is in talks with an external organiser to run the Funan Anime Matsuri, a Japanese pop-culture festival, next June.
"We will also be organising a series of events to express our sincere appreciation to our tenants and shoppers, whom we are deeply grateful to, for their support over the years," she added.
WE ACTIVELY ENGAGE TENANTS: CMTL
Although several retailers told Channel NewsAsia that they heard the confirmation of the closure only when it was announced on Thursday (Dec 10), Ms Tan said the mall management started engaging the tenants earlier this year regarding possible development options for the mall. This includes those who renewed their leases in the past year, she said.
After CMTL’s decision to redevelop Funan was announced on Thursday morning, Ms Tan said that it also immediately issued a circular to all tenants to notify them of the decision and set out plans to meet. In addition, she said that affected tenants were contacted on Thursday and briefed on the redevelopment plans.
"We have already identified possible spaces in other CapitaLand malls in Singapore for Funan tenants to consider relocating to, and will work closely with them on a seamless transition," Ms Tan added.
Mr James Ng, managing director of TK FOTO Technic at Funan supported the assertion. "I was long-aware that Funan is exploring asset enhancement. The mall management has engaged me on several occasions to provide updates as and when information is available," he said.
SIM LIM TO PROFIT?
Meanwhile, retailers at Sim Lim Square, Singapore's other IT hub, are not expecting to see more customers as a result of Funan's closure. They said their customers are of a different profile to those who frequent Funan.
"To those who visit Funan, price of the goods is not an issue," said Aloysius Chong, managing director of Innovative. "However, customers who come to Sim Lim Square are people looking for bargains or would like to negotiate prices."
Mr Stanley Xiong of Orient Photo added: "Maybe it'll make a little bit of difference, but not a lot. After all, they are more used to shopping in that area, so maybe they will visit nearby malls like Raffles City or the newly opened Capitol."