Metro marks 65th anniversary: A look at the department store's milestones

Mr Ong Tjoe Kim, a movie buff, named his company after the well-known movie studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. PHOTO: METRO HOLDINGS

1957: Mr Ong Tjoe Kim, a movie buff, named his company after the well-known movie studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. He shortened it to a two-syllable name that was easy for customers to pronounce.

1971: Metro added star power to its retail events with appearances by high-profile personalities. For example, in 1971, Hong Kong star Nora Miao - who acted opposite martial arts legend Bruce Lee in several movies including Fists Of Fury (1972) - greeted fans at Metro Supreme in Supreme House in Penang Road.

1973: Metro Holdings listed on the mainboard of the Singapore Stock Exchange.

1976: It was among the first Singapore department stores to expand to the suburbs with Metro Marine Parade.

Late 1970s to early 1980s: Metro was one of the first local companies to bring international concepts to Singapore.

Metro founded wholesaler Transmarco in 1978 and co-founded luxury watch retailer The Hour Glass in 1979.

It also brought Disney to Singapore on June 15, 1982, with its characters Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Pluto and Donald Duck going on a parade around Orchard Road in vintage cars.

A file photo of Metro Paragon. PHOTO: METRO HOLDINGS

1980s: It was one of the first Singapore companies to venture into the China market. Metro Holdings' construction unit Metrobilt, set up in 1976, entered a joint venture to develop office property in Guangzhou, China.

1987: Metrobilt was selected as one of the contractors by the Singapore Government to build the Central Expressway tunnel.

1989: Metro secured a 27 per cent stake in the development of Ngee Ann City and leased out the premises to Japanese retail giant Takashimaya.

2005: One of the first Singapore companies to expand into Xinjiang, China, with its investment in the International Commerce and Trade Plaza, Urumqi.

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