2 AMK Market Stalls Win S$1/Month Rental Tender, But Stallholders Say Business Might Be Challenging
But not all rentals on the island are high, apparently — two stalls in an Ang Mo Kio market enjoy a rental of just S$1 per month each.
Despite the low rent, however, they’ve remained empty since September.
2 stalls located in Mayflower Market & Food Centre
The two market stalls in question are located in Block 160 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 4.
That’s inside the Mayflower Market & Food Centre, which occupies blocks 160 and 162.
The market is well-positioned within a mature HDB estate and near to Mayflower MRT on the Thomson-East Coast Line (TE).
2 AMK stalls successfully snag S$1 rental
According to a list of successful tenderers released by the National Environment Agency (NEA), one stall in the market was the subject of a bid in September 2022.
That tender was successfully awarded to someone for the rock-bottom price of S$1. They indicated that they were planning to sell frozen goods.
In October 2022, four more stalls in Mayflower Market were bidded on.
This time, two adjacent stalls managed to go for the cheap sums of S$1 and S$8 a month, respectively. They are both planning to sell assorted spices.
Successful tenderers of market stalls in NEA-managed premises must enter into a rental agreement for a period of 36 months, say the Terms and Conditions found of NEA’s website.
That means for the entire three-year term, the stallholder would pay just S$36 in rent for the S$1 stall.
AMK S$1 stalls still empty since Sep
However, when Shin Min Daily News visited the S$1/month stall that was supposed to sell frozen goods on Thursday (5 Jan), they found it empty.
This is despite the stall having been successfully tendered since September.
The same thing was observed at the two adjoining “assorted spices” stalls — they were empty save for some boxes and chairs.
Some neighbouring stallholders said they’d seen people come to measure the stall, but no stallholder has been spotted.
According to the NEA’s Terms & Conditions, all successful tenderers shall enter into a tenancy agreement with them within a stipulated time.
Then, they must commence business at the stall within three months from the commencement date of the tenancy agreement.
If they fail to do this, their security deposit will be forfeited and their tenancy may be cancelled by NEA.
Newcomers might find business challenging: Existing stallholders
Some long-time stallholders in the market told Shin Min that the market isn’t particularly lively, even though things have improved since the height of Covid-19.
Also, many of the existing stalls have been around for decades and have built up a base of regular customers.
Thus, newcomers might find the competition great if they sell the same products as other stalls, even if their items are cheaper. This would result in a challenging business environment even if their rental is low.
Mr Pan Sihao, who runs a flower stall in the market, said there are many markets in Ang Mo Kio, but there are fewer residential units in Mayflower compared with other areas.
That’s why human traffic is comparatively lower, and residents are used to patronising their regular stalls.
Adjoining stalls left empty after May tender
38-year-old Mr Pan, who is the stallholders’ representative, also revealed that the two adjoining stalls used to be run by a young man who’s a second-generation spice dealer.
However, he wound up the business after about two years as the time and energy he spent on it wasn’t worth the profit he gained.
He believed that the stalls were successfully tendered for S$40 a month in May 2022, but they were left empty.
This led to another tender being called in October and the successful bid of S$1.
Market will be renovated in Mar
Mr Pan also believes that one reason the stalls haven’t opened for business yet may be the upcoming renovation.
Stallholders were told only in October that Mayflower Market will close for major renovations in March this year, he said.
It’s expected to reopen on 1 May.
This might affect the decision of the tenants over when they would open for business, he added.
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Featured image adapted from Shin Min Daily News on Facebook.