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Malls should spare a thought for consumers before deciding to upgrade

The letter “Constant mall renovations raise business costs, hurt S’poreans” (May 30) resonates with me. It is not uncommon for shopping centres here to undergo major addition and alteration works from time to time.

The letter “Constant mall renovations raise business costs, hurt S’poreans” (May 30) resonates with me. It is not uncommon for shopping centres here to undergo major addition and alteration works from time to time.

Similarly, renovations are often done in eateries such as air-conditioned food courts.

Prices invariably rise after the work is completed, and a decent meal with a beverage can now cost, on average, up to S$8. These food courts are managed by conglomerates or major players in the industry.

Despite the consumer discount for those who sign up as members, the prices remain something to be reckoned with for the average Joe.

Developers and decision-makers usually proceed with large-scale upgrading for the purpose of augmenting the overall aesthetics, perhaps as an impetus for boosting Reit share prices, and not for a compelling, practical reason in the first place.

In contrast, decades-old mixed developments such as Golden Mile Complex, People’s Park Complex and Queensway Shopping Centre are run-down.

Ironically, there seems to be no concrete plans in place to revamp the mechanical and electrical systems and amenities on these premises.

The external facades of the buildings are overdue for redecoration with cladding, curtain walls, et cetera.

This would improve their public image, which would have a positive impact on customer flow.

Hence, carrying out major facelifts on these old buildings would be more justifiable.

In a nutshell, developers and mall owners should spare a thought for consumer affordability before they embark on any upgrading projects in the future.

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