Business still poor despite promotions during F1

Business still poor despite promotions during F1
Marina Square.

SINGAPORE - Five years after Marina Bay shopping malls first complained of poor business during the Singapore Grand Prix, sales in and around the circuit are still slow.

Some retailers at Raffles City, CityLink Mall, Marina Square, Esplanade and Suntec City say takings plunge by as much as 50 per cent during race week, as regular shoppers stay away.

The attendance was 87,509 for this year's F1 race, but even with the reopening of Suntec City, sales have not revved up.

"There are more people but they're browsing, not buying," said assistant store supervisor Liah Jamal, 45, who works at Accessorize in Raffles City.

Levi's at CityLink had not had a single sale when The Straits Times visited at 3pm on Sunday. On Wednesday, the daily total was a miserly $37 - a record low, said part-time sales assistant Muhd Faizul Kamsani, 20.

The problem is not new. Since the first race in 2008, shoppers have given Marina Bay a wide berth due to the six-day road closures during the race week.

Promotions such as shopping vouchers and discounts have not seemed to work.

The Esplanade, which is open only to F1 ticket-holders, is also taking a hit again.

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