Japanese supermarket Meidi-Ya and renowned ramen restaurant Hototogisu Ramen are among the new additions to Great World City that will open in the coming months with the completion of the mall's first phase of refurbishment. The $50 million facelift, which began in April, will see the mixed-use development in River Valley add 50 new tenants and three main access points to the upcoming Great World MRT Station on the Thomson-East Coast line. Hototogisu Ramen, popular for its clam and pork broth, will open its second outlet in Singapore at the mall this month. Other new eateries include Mavrx Coffee Bar, Din Tai Fung, Tim Ho Wan, Ho Fook Hei Soy Sauce Chicken, Imperial Treasure Steamboat, Ya Kun Kaya Toast and Four Seas Fish Grill.
Meidi-Ya supermarket will open in June next year, complementing anchor tenant Cold Storage. Several existing tenants including Toys 'R' Us, Food Junction and Amazonia have been relocated within the mall. Family entertainment centre Amazonia, located on level three, will reopen this month with a new Northern Lights concept, indoor trampoline and virtual reality zones, the statement said. Japanese apparel retailer Uniqlo and pet care retail chain Pet Lovers Centre also opened in September. The mall's food and beverage offerings will increase from 20 per cent to 30 per cent of net lettable space when works are completed by the third quarter of 2020.
Supermarket operator Sheng Siong has set up cash machines at two of its stores to help customers withdraw money from their bank accounts and to "recycle" its earnings. Called $tm, they are the first cash recycling machines in Singapore that do not belong to a financial institution, and allow users to only withdraw funds from their bank accounts. Unlike regular automated teller machines (ATMs), $tm cannot be used for other purposes such as fund transfers. The operator tops up the green $tm machines, which are smaller than bank ATMs, with cash from the supermarket's sales, and the cash is "recycled" when customers withdraw money. The supermarket operator plans to set up $tm machines at all its Singapore outlets by next June. It has 54 supermarkets now.
More using QR code for making payments, study shows
Paying for purchases via a QR code has quickly gained traction among consumers in Singapore, and this has largely benefited small merchants, a new study showed. The study by the National University of Singapore found that the amount and number of PayLah transactions jumped after DBS Bank added this mode of cashless transaction in April last year. The monthly transacted amount rose from some $600,000 in April last year to more than $1.6 million in December last year. In the same period, the number of transactions tripled from about 6,000 to some 18,000. When QR code payment technology was introduced, "the monthly transaction amount and count start to trend up almost immediately", said researchers involved in the study. "In contrast, the (automated teller machine) withdrawals stay flat all over the year, which suggests the rise of mobile wallet transactions is not simply driven by a reduction in cash usage," they added.