SINGAPORE - Tiong Bahru Market and Food Centre will be closed for three months from Monday (Feb 20) for renovations, with some older stallholders deciding to retire.
The renovation works will end on May 19, according to the National Environment Agency's (NEA's) website.
Shin Min Daily News said in a report on Friday (Feb 17) that it understands that three to four hawkers are taking the chance to retire as they are getting on in years.
Two stalls had already been cleared out when Shin Min visited the market at 30 Seng Poh Road on Thursday (Feb 16).
The first stall sold fresh pork on the first floor, while the other sold kway chap on the second floor.
An assistant at one of the barbecued meat stalls who gave his name as Mr Li told Shin Min that the kway chap stall had belonged to an old couple, who had plied their trade there for more than 20 years.
"After they knew that the market would be closed for renovation, they decided to retire and returned the stall a few days ago," he said.
Raw fish stall owner Madam Hong, 58, told Shin Min that some stall owners decided to give up their stalls as they were affected by the worsening business over the years.
"In the past few years, fewer and fewer people cook their meals at home. Even if they want to buy groceries they do it at the supermarket and business has become worse," she said.
Some stall owners told Shin Min that monthly rental at the market and food centre can be from $500 to $1,500.
They have not heard of any rental increments so far.
Separately, some clothing stalls at the market decided to roll out sales during this period, with one stall hawking its hand-made clothes from $10 a piece and another preparing to have a clearance sale when the market reopens.
The history of Tiong Bahru market goes back to 1945, when shophouses were converted into a wet market.
A market called Seng Poh Market, which later became Tiong Bahru market, was constructed in 1950.