Parkway Parade reopens but work remains

Some shops, escalators and lifts stay shut; tenants say they have lost thousands of dollars in sales

Parkway Parade opened its doors to shoppers yesterday morning for the first time since a fire on Sunday night, but there were signs that not everything was back to normal.

A burning smell lingered on level two outside clothing store Fox Kids and Baby, where the blaze was believed to have broken out.

No fewer than 10 stores remained closed, while at least two lifts and two escalators that were affected remained shut for maintenance.

Some shopkeepers estimated that they had lost thousands of dollars in sales while the mall was closed.

No one was hurt during the blaze, but it damaged the fire protection system's cabling, which had to be replaced.


Regular shoppers at Parkway Parade are happy that the mall has reopened. However, no fewer than 10 stores remain closed and at least two lifts and two escalators that were affected remain shut for maintenance. Also, a burning smell lingers on level two. The mall said some rectification works are still ong

Parkway Parkway said external experts had inspected and tested its fire protection and electrical systems during the four-day closure. It is working with the authorities to investigate the cause of the fire.

"Some rectification works are still ongoing in parts of the mall, and we aim to complete them as soon as possible," said the mall's general manager, Ms Jenny Khoo. "I would like to apologise for all the inconveniences caused during this period."

More than 95 per cent of its tenants were open for business yesterday, she said. The mall has over 250 stores.

When The Straits Times visited yesterday morning, Fox Kids and Baby store was still boarded up. About 10 nearby stores, including Mothercare and Supercuts, remained shut for cleaning. Uniqlo and Poh Heng in the basement and Dome on level one also remained closed.

Department store Isetan, meanwhile, opened only its first floor to customers. Its second floor will remain closed for the next one to two days for staff to clean up further.

Mr Zac Lim, a manager at Team Salon, two shops from Fox Kids and Baby, said: "We were able to open today because we came down to clean up the salon yesterday. It's a bit quieter than usual though."

He showed a reporter a photograph of the fire's aftermath - the hair salon's white-tiled floor had turned black with soot.

LOSSES DUE TO FIRE

When I asked the management about compensation, it said to write in with the claim. I will do that over the next few days after I have calculated everything, including my employees' salaries. ''

MR ALEX CHUA, owner of ice cream chain Scoopz, who estimates his losses to be around $2,600 to $3,000.

Asked if the mall plans to compensate tenants for loss in sales and rental, Ms Khoo said she is unable to provide details "due to confidentiality reasons".

Mr Alex Chua, 48, owner of ice cream chain Scoopz, which has a shop in the mall, estimates his losses to be around $2,600 to $3,000.

"When I asked the management about compensation, it said to write in with the claim. I will do that over the next few days after I have calculated everything, including my employees' salaries," he said.

Shoppers were glad to see the mall open again.

"I came on Monday, (it was) closed. Tuesday, closed. Wednesday, closed. I gave up on Thursday but saw the news that it reopened today," said Mr Jeremy Ng, 43, a regional sales manager.

"Some of the shops also sent me an SMS to say they have reopened. I thought that was a nice touch."

Housewife Namita, 36, who declined to give her full name, said the mall's closure had been inconvenient for her as she lives nearby and visits regularly. "I did not go out to shop at all the past couple of days - I was just waiting for the mall to reopen," she said.

The mall plans to hold a marketing campaign, and details will be released on its Facebook page and website over the next few weeks, said Ms Khoo.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 21, 2016, with the headline 'Parkway Parade reopens but work remains'. Print Edition | Subscribe