SINGAPORE - Long queues formed outside the Sheng Siong branch in Bedok Central on Thursday (June 24) and Friday as the durian season kicked off in full force.
When The Straits Times visited Sheng Siong’s Bedok Central branch at 4pm on Friday, many of those in the queue said they were looking forward to tucking into a durian treat with their loved ones.
Many of them had seen the supermarket’s Facebook post on Wednesday that advertised durians from as low as $2 per fruit.
The post, with pictures of tables piled high with the fruit, has been shared more than 5,200 times.
Some had travelled from as far away as Sengkang and Hougang to get a good deal on the spiked fruits. Right before 5pm, ST counted about 60 people in the queue.
Customers told ST they were attracted by the cheap prices: $20 for three small durians and $40 for large fruits.
Housewife Ferine Goh, 55, who lives in Bedok, was in the queue to buy six big durians for her family. “My family, especially my son, loves durian a lot. After chancing upon Sheng Siong’s Facebook post, I decided to come down to get some durians for my family since we live nearby.”
Other Bedok residents appeared unfazed by the long queues.
A 90-minute wait netted full-time Grab delivery rider Edwin Lin, 39, three large fruits for his family.
Operations manager Azhar Nadeem, 32, said that he and his wife had queued for nearly 30 minutes to reach the halfway point.
He said: “Both my wife and I are avid lovers of durian. Since we live in Bedok, we decided to come down to buy around six small durians, since we love the taste of durians.”
Retired sales manager K.K. Ng, 55, who lives in Tampines, left with six durians.
“It has been nearly seven months since we had durians. My daughter, who is in primary school, is having her June holidays, and I thought that it would be nice to take her with me to buy three big and three small durians for our family.”
Brisk sales led to Sheng Siong employees stopping the queue at 5pm on Friday. One worker told The Straits Times that the stall’s closing time was supposed to be 8pm.
Arriving 20 minutes too late, Ms Salmah Mahmood said: “I’m so disappointed. I thought I could buy durians for my grandchildren since they love it so much.
“I will make sure to come at an earlier time next time,” added the 56-year-old housewife, who had planned to give her 10 grandchildren a durian treat.
Seven Sheng Siong employees were seen managing the long queues to ensure people were adhering to safe distancing protocols.
When customers were asked if they were concerned about the risks of Covid-19 transmission due to the large number of people present, most of them said that they were not worried as they had already received their second vaccination dose.
Mr Arman Mohd Ali, who made the trip from Hougang, said he was surprised by the large number of people in the queue but said he felt assured as he received his second dose of the vaccine on June 11.
The 54-year-old, who works in operations, left with a haul of 10 durians.
Sengkang residents Katherine Lee, 54, and her husband picked up nine large fruits for her children and in-laws after an hour in the queue.
While she had taken her second Covid-19 jab in mid-May, she noted that vaccination does not guarantee immunity.
“What is more important is that we must follow social distancing rules,” said Ms Lee, a sales manager. “While queueing, I made sure to be more than 1m apart from the customer in front of and behind me.”