Sim Lim Square cleans up its act, but foot traffic has dropped dramatically

Following last year’s scam, not many want to shop at the retailers even after management clears its act up
Sim Lim Square cleans up its act, but foot traffic has dropped dramatically

Pham Van Thoai will live in Sim Lim Spuare’s history as the man whose injustice led to the clean-up of its retail scam. But, it looks like that isn’t quite enough for retailers in the building to pick up sales from where it left off.

Now, if you don’t exactly know what happened or need a refresher, a video of the Vietnamese tourist falling to his knees and begging went viral online when he was scammed for a lot more money – all he wanted to do was purchase an iPhone 6.

As a result, the management of Sim Lim Square has shut down eight of the 10 blacklisted stores that received a high number of complaints against them over these past two months. The surviving two have since curbed their unethical sales tactics, thus avoiding the shutdown.

"The police do not come here daily any more to deal with disputes and we have not got any complaints about unfair sales tactics since last month," a spokesman from the mall's management was quoted in The Straits Times.

READ MORE: Singapore rallies under Indiegogo, gets iPhone 6 for Vietnamese tourist scammed at Sim Lim Square 

But, even after the clampdown, the number of shoppers making their way to the IT and electronics mall still seem to be dire – so much so that the number of visitors have dipped by about 40 per cent than usual.

The Straits Times reports that retailers on the first two levels of the building have faced declining profits, with sales “falling by up to 90 per cent over the last two months”. In addition, during that timeframe, out of the 162 shops on these floors (including the 12 currently vacant), at least five have shut down their operations.

"Shops have told us business is slow, though human traffic seems to be returning to normal from the third floor onwards," the management added. Perhaps, all it needs is a little more trust, especially since there aren’t many reports of unwarranted sales activities in that area.

READ MORE: 7 tips to survive Sim Lim Square 

[Source: The Straits Times]