SINGAPORE: Indoor family attraction KidZania Singapore has closed its doors permanently after four years, laying off 103 employees, the company said on Wednesday (Jun 17).
KidZania, which opened in April 2016 on Sentosa Island, said it has been a "challenge" to achieve the business returns needed over the years, which was made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the economy.
"Aside from zero ticket revenue due to the temporary closure since early April, revenue has also been impacted as commercial partners have reduced their participation due to financial constraints and cost control efforts," it said in a news release.
All affected employees will receive "appropriate severance packages" with salaries, medical and other benefits paid up to their last day of service, KidZania said.
"It is the intent that the severance package, which stands on the higher end of the industry norm, will go some way to ease any difficulties for team members over the next few months," it added.
The company said it is also conducting workshops and working with several employment bodies to assist staff in finding new employment as soon as possible.
KidZania Singapore first announced its closure in a Facebook post on Tuesday night, saying it will not reopen when COVID-19 restrictions on its operations are lifted.
The 81,000 sq ft attraction features interactive installations where children can role-play different occupations. It has been closed since Apr 7, the first day of Singapore's "circuit breaker", which ended on Jun 1.
READ: COVID-19: Phase 2 of reopening to start from Jun 19, social gatherings of up to five people allowed
Phase 2 of Singapore’s reopening from Jun 19 will see the resumption of most businesses with safe management measures.
But indoor and outdoor attractions – and other activities that involve large numbers of people coming into close contact for prolonged periods – "will take more time” to resume, said Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong on Monday.
Business cessation could see an “uptick” in the coming months as the COVID-19 pandemic weighs on the Singapore economy, said Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Chee Hong Tat on Jun 5.
Firm closures and retrenchments “were happening even before COVID-19. But with COVID-19, we must expect the situation to worsen and these numbers to go up”, Mr Chee said.
A Sentosa Development Corporation spokesperson said it is aware of KidZania's closure, and plans to "refresh the premises with exciting new offerings".
Customers with unused tickets and annual passes can write to Kidzania at firstname.lastname@example.org, the company said.