All right, so Carrefour ain’t pulling out of Singapore (see below), unlike what’s been speculated and reproduced in my earlier post. At least this is what they are saying in a statement in Kuala Lumpur.
Only time will tell.
I don’t claim to have the same prescience as Paul the Octopus, the FIFA World Cup oracle, but I trust my instincts.
Like this bread place a outside Cold Storage I discovered in 313 @ Somerset sometime after the Chinese New Year. It’s called Le Grenier a Pain — OK what a name, you might say but in French “pain” means “loaf”, I’m told.
Anyway, the first time I came across it, its see-thru cabinets with lift-up doors were packed to the brim with baguettes and other bread, and as a bread fiend, especially of the hard variety, I immediately bought some.
Though the price was a tad high — $1.70 — for a thin approximately 12-inch long baguette, I didn’t mind, as it was something I enjoyed. However, I didn’t dream of touching any of the cafe’s pastries, as each seemed to cost an arm and a leg.
So it was always the $1.70 bread I went for, every time I happened to be in Somerset 313, which isn’t that often, given that there are so many alternatives in Singapore for eating and shopping, especially food and grocery shopping.
After the second or third visits, I began to notice something strange. The shelves were no longer packed tight with different types of bread. I reasoned perhaps they were very popular and found buyers before the bakers could replenish.
The two visits prior to today’s were even more telling. The cupboards were like Mother Hubbard’s. The glassed in baking section was in darkness. And all the goodies for sale were moved to one corner of the cafe.
Last month, I asked the girl who served me if the patisserie was closing down. No, no she said. And was disinclined to talk further.
Today, I happened to be in 313 @ Somerset again and after lunch headed as usual for Le Grenier to pick up my baguette.
According to a post in Hungrygowhere, the original Le Grenier at Sembawang Shopping Centre has also closed, though who knows when! This is the second food outlet closure at Somerset 313 that I’ve noticed, the first being Say Cheeze!
Moral of the story? Don’t have cheesy names? Don’t operate in 313 @ Somerset? Don’t over-price your products? Don’t go into food in Singapore where barriers to entry are low, consumers are already spoilt for choice and food operators are dying even faster than flies?
Carrefour denies closures
KUALA LUMPUR – FRENCH supermarket giant Carrefour has denied that its stores in Malaysia and Singapore will close following reports that it would shut down its Southeast Asian outlets.
On Tuesday, produce industry website Fruit Net said the supermarket chain planned to sell its interests in Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand in a deal worth up to US$1 billion (S$1.38 billion).
‘Carrefour Malaysia and Singapore denies any store closure in Malaysia and in Singapore, reminding that it is business as usual for every store,’ the company said in a statement late on Wednesday.
‘In 2010 itself, four Carrefour hypermarkets have been newly opened in Malaysia and another four additional hypermarkets are slated to be opened by year end.’ According to the company’s website, it has 22 stores in Malaysia, two in Singapore and 40 in Thailand.
It said Asia accounted for 7.6 per cent of its total net sales of 85.96 billion euros ($150.4 billion) in 2009, compared to 13.7 per cent for Latin America and 35.7 per cent for Europe excluding France. — AFP