Monday, September 24, 2012

Carrefour Singapore Hypermarket: Adieu

Last weekends, my family and I visited Carrefour Singapore outlet at Suntec City. At this time of writing, I believe everyone in Singapore knows the fate of this French Hypermarket as it will bade Adieu to Singapore in a few weeks’ time.


While we were drawn to the 50% discount store-wide at Carrefour Suntec outlet before it closed, personally, I want to be part of this “historic moment” seeing, witnessing and experiencing for myself this experience of shopping in Carrefour’s flagship store in Singapore before it closed.

Hence, off we went to Carrefour Suntec outlet. As soon as we reached the hypermart, we wanted to proceed to the 2nd storey where more merchandise of the hypermart was stored.

However, what greeted us were shutters: the 2nd storey was already closed! Hence there was only the first floor that we could visit to buy our items from and explored.

The first floor of Carrefour Suntec was already starting to show signs of a “retreat”. It was really quite empty and all that we saw were people buying, or maybe should I use a better word “salvaging” what could be salvaged from this hypermart before it fell to history.

There were really not many merchandise left at the first storey that were in batches or groups. What we saw were bundles and bundles of items, no matter how diverse they were, being displayed on shelves or grouped together in one way or another.

There were security guards, a larger presence of them as I think they were deployed to stop people from looting (did I use the correct word?).

In my secondary school days, I learnt from history that when Singapore was occupied by the Japanese, there were rationing exercises, and people came to the rationing centres, hungry, desperate and jostled with one another to get a bite of the rations. While we did not have that scenario in Carrefour when we were there, there was some resemblance. Prices were slashed by 50% store-wide. Customers helped themselves freely to the assortments of daily products, mostly skincare and I could really tell that most of the customers buy these products at such a discounted price not that they have used the products and have a positive experience, but they wanted to try all these expensive products which are now half-prices! I am guilty of that, though the product that I bought was actually quite cheap, less than $5 after discount!

Apart from the cashiers who were having a busy day checking out the streams of customers with their bags of goodies, a number of Carrefour staff were standing around at the first floor of the hypermart. I could see that they had mixed feelings, perhaps about the closure of the store and to some, maybe on the matter of how their future would pan out.

Some of them patiently utilized their scanners to scan the barcodes of the products brought up by customers who asked them for their prices since in this clearance sales (which I believe to be a final clearance sales), most of the items were without price tags.

Beside daily products, what I saw in larger quantity were printers, TVs, mineral and bottled beverages and yes, there were still fresh butter croissants which we bought and savoured; the taste of these croissants was as nice as before and I believe it would continue like that until the day that Carrefour Singapore closed it shutters at Suntec and Plaza Singapura.

What is experiencing a historic moment be without a camera, hence I bought along a humble camera to capture the images of Carrefour Singapore Suntec Hypermart before it said “Adieu” to Singaporeans.  

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