Sengkang mall finds its Compass again

Compass One will have a larger public library, over 50 new retailers and a children's playground after the revamp. M&G Real Estate has also revealed that about 30 per cent of the space would be for food and beverage, up from 20 per cent previously.
Compass One will have a larger public library, over 50 new retailers and a children's playground after the revamp. M&G Real Estate has also revealed that about 30 per cent of the space would be for food and beverage, up from 20 per cent previously.PHOTO: M&G REAL ESTATE

Renamed 1 Sengkang Mall gets yet another name after criticism from customers

The new name chosen for a suburban mall due to reopen this year after a facelift drew such a hue and cry that its owners have decided to go with a second new name.

Compass Point in Sengkang will be called Compass One, M&G Real Estate said last Thursday, instead of 1 Sengkang Mall, the winning entry from a naming contest held in October last year.

Netizens lost no time in criticising the winning choice, which received a $1,000 cash prize, for being boring and lacking in creativity, while many others asked that the mall keep its original name.

A second prize of $1,000 will be awarded to the entrant who submitted the new name, M&G told The Straits Times.

M&G said it decided on a name change because of feedback from customers who "missed the old name and want it back".

SPOKESMAN SAYS

We have put Compass back in the name. But we also wanted to stick with our original plan to give the mall a new name to reflect a fresh, lively and vibrant experience that is going to be a step up from its predecessor.

M&G SPOKESMAN

EXPERT SAYS

The frequent name changing is going to have an impact as it confuses people.

MR SAMIR DIXIT, managing director of Brand Finance Asia Pacific, saying there was no reason for the mall to change its name to begin with.

"So, we have put Compass back in the name. But we also wanted to stick with our original plan to give the mall a new name to reflect a fresh, lively and vibrant experience that is going to be a step up from its predecessor," said a spokesman.

M&G Real Estate, which took full ownership of the mall in February after buying out Frasers Centrepoint, said the revamp will give it a larger public library, more than 50 new retailers, and new amenities, such as a children's playground.

Nearly 90 per cent of the retail space has been leased ahead of the targeted opening in the third quarter, M&G said in a statement last week.

While the company declined to disclose the new tenant mix, it said about 30 per cent of the space would be for food and beverage, up from 20 per cent previously.

Supermarket chain Cold Storage, food court operator Kopitiam and the Sengkang Public Library will remain the anchor tenants in Compass One.

Residents in the area told The Straits Times they were looking forward to the mall's re-opening, so they no longer have to go further afield to Waterway Point in Punggol or The Seletar Mall in Fernvale.

Many reacted positively to the new name, such as Mr Erfan Itani, 43, a regular at Compass Point since it opened in 2002.

"The word 'Compass' brings back a lot of memories for Sengkang residents," he said.

He had to change the name of the Facebook fan page he created last October twice - first to Fans of 1 Sengkang Mall, and then to Fans of Compass One Singapore. "I hope they keep this name," he said.

Singapore Polytechnic senior retail lecturer Sarah Lim said it was smart to put Compass back in the name as shoppers like familiarity and suburban malls are used by residents as reference points .

Branding specialist Samir Dixit, managing director of Brand Finance Asia Pacific, said there was no reason for the mall to change its name to begin with.

"The frequent name changing is going to have an impact as it confuses people, " he added.

But not every Sengkang resident feels the need to get involved in the fray. Data analyst Joel Choo, who lives within walking distance of the mall, said he does not care what it is called.

Said the 26-year-old: "I'm just hoping for a cinema, and better food options, because there's not a lot to eat around here."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 25, 2016, with the headline 'Sengkang mall finds its Compass again'. Print Edition | Subscribe