Metro: From retail pioneer to property giant

Above: A fashion show at Metro's store in High Street in 1962. Left: The late Mr Ong Tjoe Kim in a picture taken in 2005. He founded Metro in 1957 as a textile shop, selling batiks and fine fabrics. ST FILE PHOTO
Shoppers zooming in on clearance sales at Metro's flagship store at The Centrepoint on Aug 26. Metro was the first to introduce store promotions as well as fly in movie stars for grand openings and big events. Observers say that despite pressure from e-commerce and high rents, the Metro name has history and strong branding. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
Shoppers zooming in on clearance sales at Metro's flagship store at The Centrepoint on Aug 26. Metro was the first to introduce store promotions as well as fly in movie stars for grand openings and big events. Observers say that despite pressure from
A fashion show at Metro's store in High Street in 1962. ST FILE PHOTO
Shoppers zooming in on clearance sales at Metro's flagship store at The Centrepoint on Aug 26. Metro was the first to introduce store promotions as well as fly in movie stars for grand openings and big events. Observers say that despite pressure from
The late Mr Ong Tjoe Kim in a picture taken in 2005. He founded Metro in 1957 as a textile shop, selling batiks and fine fabrics. ST FILE PHOTO

Department store scored many firsts in retail before being repositioned as property firm

The name Metro may not conjure up images of glitz and glamour, but the local department store named after Hollywood studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer was once at the forefront of the high-end retail scene.

In its heyday, it carried the latest fashion and French perfumes, and was known for its star-studded events.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 02, 2019, with the headline 'Metro: From retail pioneer to property giant'. Print Edition | Subscribe