Power outage hits Jem

It was not her first visit to Jem mall, but it was the first time she had been trapped in a lift.

Fortunately, it lasted only 20 seconds, even though it felt like an eternity to the real estate agent, who was with her three-year-old toddler when she visited the Jurong East mall last evening.

This was not the first incident Ms Jane Teo, 36, had encountered at Jem mall.

"It seems to be that each time I come to the mall, there is a 50 per cent chance of something going wrong. The last time I came, there was a fire at the basement carpark," she said.

A media statement from Jem said a power outage had occurred at around 7am and their technical team had attended to it immediately.

The outage affected retailers at level three and basement one.

When The New Paper arrived at the mall at around 5.30 pm, 37 out of 60 shop units in the basement still had no electricity. The worst affected tenants included bakery Four Leaves and Pet Lovers Centre.

A saleswoman at Four Leaves told TNP: "We have been affected very badly. The dough in the refrigerators and the half-baked buns in the oven were all spoilt and had to be thrown away."

Workers at the bakery were seen recording sales on slips of paper as they were unable to use their computers.

The saleswoman said that electricity was restored at 9am, then went out again at about 10.20am. It did not come back until about 5.40pm.

Over at Pet Lovers Centre, the situation seemed dim.

Retail assistant Victor Ong, 31, said: "Usually, we have the highest volume of sales from Friday to Sunday. Today, our sales have been affected by up to 70 per cent."

Because of the lack of ventilation and air conditioning, doors to the glass cases housing the animals had to be opened.

"Chinchillas come from cool habitats. If the air conditioning does not come on in a few hours, we will have to transport them to our nearest branch at JCube," Mr Ong said.

He and his colleague had to manage their paperwork with torchlights.

BUSINESS JUMP

But not all retailers were adversely affected by the outage.

Miss Carmina Rosales, a worker at Eat, which is also located in the basement, said: "Our power was not affected but because of the power outage in other shops, our business actually saw a jump."

The noodle joint usually has about 800 customers by 3pm, but yesterday saw 1,300 customers by the same time.

Yesterday's power outage was not the only incident to have plagued the mall since its opening in mid-2013. (See report right.)

In a media statement issued at 7.15pm, the mall said power to the affected retailers had been fully restored and business was back to usual.

Ms Teo said: "I won't say I'm never coming back to the mall again, but I'll definitely think twice before I step into the mall next time. Especially if I'm bringing my young child along."


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