Business booms along Circle Line

Drinks-store owner Salleh Mashood (centre) enjoyed a big increase in sales during the weekend, thanks to commuters from the new Pasir Panjang Station.

It has been just one weekend, but businesses like retail and food outlets located near the Circle Line’s new stations are already reaping profits.

Pasir Panjang Food Centre drinks-stall owner Salleh Mashood, 50, said his sales went up by at least 25 per cent over the past two days.

The food centre is near Pasir Panjang Station, one of 12 new stations which opened last Saturday.

“Human traffic was really brisk, especially on Saturday evening,” Mr Salleh said yesterday.

“Most people were just exploring the new line, but they came in to eat since they were here.”

One customer at the food centre, administrative executive Helen Chua, said she rode a train on the Circle Line with her family.

“We heard there was good food here and we wanted to take a look at the station. It is so accessible by train, so we thought, why not?” said the 62-year-old.

At the Botanic Gardens Station, bakery shop Simply Bread enjoyed a marked increase in weekend sales of about 30 per cent.

Shop manager Theresa Chan, 33, said the fully opened Circle Line has been a “big help” for business. The shop is located at Cluny Court, one street away from the station.

“We rely a lot on residents who live nearby. With the Circle Line’s opening, we are excited to finally be able to reach out to a bigger market,” she said.

However, many business owners and managers feared the brisk sales would taper off once the novelty of the new stations wears off.

“We can only hope that business will stay good,” Ms Chan said.

While boosting sales is at the top of their minds, many business owners are relieved that they no longer have to endure inconveniences caused by the Circle Line’s decade-long construction. Jewellery-and-clothing-shop owner Rash Shalla, 40, said he opened his two shops at Holland Village four years ago with high expectations.

But business was not as good as he had hoped, thanks to parking woes caused by widespread con- struction work, which was also unsightly, he said.

With the opening of the Holland Village Station, just a few steps away from his shops, his weekend sales increased by about 15 per cent.

“My shops are finally going to reach their full potential,” he said.

Mr Salleh also had to put up with a lot of inconvenience in his four years at Pasir Panjang Food Centre.

The food centre was blocked from sight during the Circle Line’s construction and many people did not know it was still open for business, he said.

“I was shocked in the beginning. I made enough only to get by and business came mostly from the construction workers and engineers working around the area,” he said.

“But after this weekend, I know it’s only going to get a lot better.”

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