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SG Govt looking to regulate shoebox shops

Property Here - Tuesday, March 26, 2013

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By Romesh Navaratnarajah:

To ensure Singaporeans continue to have an enjoyable shopping experience, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) has come up with a set of guidelines which regulates the minimum size of retail units in shopping malls and minimum corridor width of all new projects with retail components.

This was revealed by National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan in his latest blog post which highlighted the emergence of shoebox shops. 

“Lately, a couple of developers who have pushed for shoebox apartments and factories have turned their attention to push for shoebox shops,” Mr Khaw said.

These firms have proposed malls which mainly comprise shoebox shops, with sizes of at least 9 sq m meaning the shop would be even smaller than a parking space.

“In many cases, the number of proposed shops in their proposed redevelopments will end up more than 10 times the number of shops in the original malls!”

Mr Khaw explained that it’s alright for some shops to be small. But if they make up most of the retail space in the mall, they won’t be viable and could affect the shopper’s experience. Such spaces are also not intended for genuine retailers. 

“If these shops are not suitable for most retailers, then the developers’ motive is probably to target individual property investors rather than genuine retailers. Moreover, too many small shops in a mall can generate disproportionate traffic and parking issues.”

“I hope that these guidelines will ensure that Singaporeans continue to have a safe and enjoyable shopping experience. After all, shopping is a great Singaporean pastime,” he added.


Romesh Navaratnarajah, Senior Editor of PropertyGuru, wrote this story. To contact him about this or other stories email