Saving Singapore’s wet markets: Extend opening hours, create themes to draw youth
To reverse the slowing business at wet markets and draw young Singaporeans, a letter-writer suggested that these spaces be promoted as eco-friendly alternatives to supermarkets.
Some readers agreed and mooted other ways to preserve the markets, including extending their opening hours.
To reverse the slowing business at wet markets and draw young Singaporeans, a letter-writer suggested that these spaces be promoted as eco-friendly alternatives to supermarkets. For example, wet markets could offer discounts to patrons who bring their own containers. Some readers agreed and mooted other ways to preserve the markets, including extending their opening hours. Others were less taken by the idea, proposing instead that wet markets be rebranded — such as having “Instagrammable” themes — to woo the young.
I love going to wet markets, but as a working adult, grocery shopping is usually confined to after-work hours or weekends. And on weekends, you have to wake very early — sometimes you want to sleep in a little. Maybe the markets could consider extending or changing their operating hours. KATHLEEN CHAN
Kathleen Chan, fish, seafood and most perishable food items cannot last till after the sun is up. They will not be fresh thereafter. Do you still want to buy them when they are not fresh? PAMELA CHAN
Singapore should have a night wet market, as most patrons work office hours. HUNY LEIA
Nowadays, families are small. So wet markets are definitely better, as families can buy smaller portions of items with convenience. JAQ C YAN
Many consumers, including me, already bring containers and bags when they shop. I do not see why stallholders should offer discounts to entice people. Why can’t supermarkets do that since they are big corporations? The focus should be on the strengths of wet markets and preserving the culture instead of changing how they work. They work fine. To lure youngsters, they may have to dress up their stalls and set up social media pages to promote their produce. EAT TO DRAW
Try going to a wet market in Thailand. You bring a basket, and everything is wrapped in banana leaves or newspapers. A limited number of things use plastic. ARATNASUN
How many containers do you want to bring? Imagine you have to buy meat, fish, vegetables and so on. JX LI
If there is no plastic bag, how will we bag our daily kitchen waste? This has to be addressed before a household goes plastic-bag-free. LAI CHEN
When was the last time you went to a wet market? Unfortunately, quite a number of stalls are already selling a lot of pre-packed produce. LINDA LOW
Wet markets have been this way for years. Stop reinventing in vain. I hardly go to a wet market because it is smelly and crowded. DAVIOS LAW
How will being eco-friendly help draw the younger generation to wet markets? At the root of youths’ preference for supermarkets is the environment. Supermarkets are clean, air-conditioned, comfortable, organised and have longer operating hours, among other attributes. Conversely, the floor of wet markets is wet, they have a distinct odour, and are disorganised, noisy, hot, humid and stuffy. That said, I will still get fresh produce from wet markets because they have a wider variety, not forgetting hard-to-find items, Asian cooking sauces and regular discounts. ROBERT KOH
Serve latte and call it a “farmers’ market”. The young will come for sure. FRANK YOUNG
Want to attract youth to wet markets? Make the markets Instagram-worthy. MOZ TEY
It is better to go with an Instagrammable theme. Singaporean influencers like that. KEIV KUAN
These comments were first posted to TODAY’s Facebook page. They have been edited for clarity, accuracy and length.