Monday, January 21, 2013

Farewell Carrefour Part 2: Suntec City Mall Outlet


Sorry for not updating for quite a while. My laptop was not really working that well but now, my laptop is working better now so I can start updating more often. Back to the topic, Carrefour announced its closure in late 2012 and the stores that used to be located at Suntec City Mall and Plaza Singapura have already closed down. After hearing the announcement, I decided to check out both Carrefour outlets and I will now share with you how Carrefour Suntec City Mall looked like before its official closure. I have written an article on the Plaza Singapura outlet previously which you can check it out here and for today's article, it will be about the outlet at Suntec City Mall also known as the first Carrefour outlet to be opened. Unlike Carrefour Plaza Singapura which opened in 2003, the Suntec City Mall outlet opened in 1997. Let us take a walkthrough of the store when it was still in operation.


Huge Amounts of Mineral Water

When I first entered Carrefour Suntec City Mall, I saw a huge amount of mineral water bottles that were on sale. The mineral water's brand was unheard of but if I recall properly, the brand was a French one because of the French words that can be found on the label. Since Carrefour is a Frech company, there were plenty of products that came from France. It was quite a good idea to stock up on mineral water since they had lots of them and it was on discount. Unfortunately, it already closed down so no more cheap mineral water.


The Bakery Section

Just like any other hypermarket, there was also a Bakery section which sold a wide variety of baked goods. Some of them were baked fresh in the store while the others came from different factories. I also liked that there were plenty of French breads on sale which totally fit with the company's origins. Personally, I have never bought baked goods from Carrefour so I can't really say whether they taste good or not,



The Carrefour Convenience Store

At the Level 1 entrance of Carrefour Suntec City Mall was a convenience store that sold a wide variety of food and drinks for the customer's convenience. Just like a typical convenience store like 7 Eleven and Cheers, there were things like hot coffee, hot tea, frozen food, a microwave oven and so much more. Now, after the closure of Carrefour Suntec City Mall, the shop space has been taken over by Giant for a temporary amount of time and this convenience store has been replaced by a 7 Eleven which is also being occupied for a temporary period of time.




Komala's Cafe

Unlike the outlet at Plaza Singapura, the outlet at Suntec City Mall has a Komala's Cafe. Komala's is a Singapore-based chain of fast food restaurants that sells a wide variety of vegetarian Indian cuisine like Batthura, Vegetarian burger and so much more. The one pictured above is a small cafe that used to be located beside the pair of travellators that led customers to the second level. It was a good concept to have a small cafe inside a big hypermarket and it can be convenient for shoppers who wanted to take a small break after hours of shopping around.



Time to Head to the Second Level

Similar to the Plaza Singapura outlet, there were a pair of travellators that can transport shoppers to the second level easily. If you checked out the part 1 of the Farewell Carrefour article, there were boxes in the middle of both travellators that allow shoppers to grab things like Lay's potato chips or potato crisps. Unfortunately, when I visited the Suntec City Mall outlet, all the products were gone as part of the cleaning up that they were doing for the closure.


Discounted Products on Sale

After arriving at the second level also known as the Non-Food level, there was a section dedicated to offering shoppers various kinds of discounts on items like tissues, containers, stationery and so much more. Most of them cost $1 and it was a great bargain for those who liked to buy household items.


The Electronics Section

Of course, like any other hypermarkets in Singapore, there was an electronics section. At Carrefour Suntec City, you won't really find any modern electronics that are high end and expensive. Instead, there were plenty of budget electronics from brands that were unheard of like Akai, TCL and so much more. There were television sets, laptops, smartphones, gaming consoles and the likes. There were also some famous brands like Sony and Samsung but they only sold the budget models of their laptops and other electronics.




An Interesting Notice

While I was browsing around the electronics section of Carrefour Suntec City Mall, I noticed this very interesting notice pasted on the wall. It's great that Carrefour actually cares for their customers' hygiene and safety. Plus, it's kind of obvious that testing earphones is an unhygienic activity. I myself can't imagine trying them out unless they are headphones.


Unused and Dusty Cashier Counters

At the first level of Carrefour Suntec City Mall, there were plenty of cashier counters for shoppers to head to in order for them to pay for their purchases. At the second level, it was a totally different thing. There were plenty of cashier counters but they were unused and I have seen a tremendous amount of dust accumulated on the surface and on the sides of the cashier counters. It was surprising to me because they were important resources but they were left collecting dust. On the other hand, cashier counters at both levels of Carrefour Plaza Singapura were fully utilised. Still, it was unusual for a hypermarket to have a set of cashier counters not being used and ended up collecting dust.


The Fun Section of Carrefour

All the way to the other end of the Non-Food section of Carrefour Suntec City Mall was the Fun section. It was not officially called the Fun section but I call it that because it was where all the fun things can be found. There were video games, toys, gaming consoles, budget smartphones, bicycles, scooters and so much more on sale. It was a great section for teenagers and kids as they could try out the stuff over here and their parents don't have to break the bank. Sure, other hypermarkets sell these things too but the one at Carrefour Suntec City Mall was more vibrant, colourful and most importantly, fun.


The Automotive Section

The Carrefours at both Plaza Singapura and Suntec City Mall had a section dedicated to automotives and DIY tools. However, what caught my attention at Carrefour Suntec City Mall's automotive anad DIY section was that the floor had lane markings just like a regular public road. You could see the yellow box junction and the usual lane markings. The books and videos section also caught my attention as they had wooden decorations and stickers pasted everywhere which simulates a wooden bookshelf. Unfortunately, I didn't have a picture of the books and videos section to show you. Another thing to note was that at this part of Carrefour, the floors were very slippery and I found it slightly difficult to walk around. It wasn't wet and no one was mopping the floor. I had the feeling that someone actually waxed the floor as part of their cleaning up process before the store officially closed.


Lowest Price or the Difference Back

Now this is something unique that we will never get to see ever again in the future. This unique stamp of approval by Carrefour proved to customers how much they care for them by providing the lowest prices otherwise they get their difference back. It was a strong promise even though most of the prices found at Carrefour were much more expensive than the ones found at competitor stores. On the other hand, it was great that Carrefour cared for their customers and their closure will certainly upset a lot of people especially regular customers who did their shopping here regularly. This stamp of approval also appeared in the Plaza Singapura outlet which you can check out by clicking here.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Carrefour Suntec City Mall was truly the first and oldest Carrefour outlet in Singapore and just like the sister outlet at Plaza Singapura, it too has ceased operations in late 2012. However, all is not lost. The space that used to occupy Carrefour at Suntec City Mall has now been taken over by hypermarket giant, Giant (see what I did there?) and the second level was occupied by Cold Storage although they only sold international products. There is also a 7 Eleven near the Customer Service counter. Do take note that Giant and Cold Storage will use the space for a temporary period of time before they move to their permanent location at the basement of the mall (Although I'm not entirely sure if the 7 Eleven will also move to the basement). Still, I hope that some superstore can take over the big space that used to occupy Carrefour and provide customers with various discounts. It's sad to see the iconic French hypermarket leave the country and I do hope that someday they will make their presence back in Singapore in the near future.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...