Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Midnight Shopping

2 days ago, I came across one topic that has been debating in Singapore, and many people are procastinating over it. Past midnight shopping, or 24 hours shopping.

This has been becoming such an issue, because certain tourists thinks that there is no place to go after midnight in Singapore, unlike Hong Kong.

In Hong Kong, midnight shopping is common, because many shop opens 24 hours non-stop. Especially eating places. When I was in Hong Kong last year, I don't recall seeing any shop that opens 24 hours. Even the famous woman's street was closed at 2300.

If the claim that Hong Kong opens 24 hours, it would be in Nathan Street, where the shops are laying along the busy roads and hotels. In Singapore most of the shopping stores are in the shopping mall. Shopping malls, are buildings housing many shops in one building. If one store such as Mcdonald requires a 24 hour operations, and he is the only shop that opens, the shopping mall may generate a loss, because of the air-conditioning bills, housekeeping bills.

Most maintenance work in a shopping mall, especially major job, have to be done after the shopping hours, where the whole air-conditioning have to be switch off. For example, if one cooling pipe have a leak, the whole system have to be shut down, so that the cooling water can be drained, and then take down the pipe and replace the pipe. The entire operation may take 5 to 6 hours to do it. And during this time, there won't be any air-conditiong available. Therefore, in the night, this is the best time to carry out such activity. If the shopping mall is opens 24 hours, many people will complain of the heat, and overhaul of equipments is extremely hard without any complains.

Although it is true that at night, air-conditioning cost is cheaper, because of cooler weather, this is not entirely true to the theory unless the compressor is a inverter , or vsd type. If all shops are to opens 24 hours in the shopping mall, then the shopping mall may be able to generate more revenue, but the cost of employing the maintenance staff, and housekeeping staff will be greater, because they ahve to take two action. Either employ more staff, or pay the staff more allowance, and this also includes taxi fares.

On the other side, if there is not much customer patronise the shop, the shop may suffer a loss, because they are required to pay a higher rent and utilitiy bills. In Singapore, most of the people are asleep, and thus, less people will do the past midnight shopping.

Occassionally, once in a while, stores may requires to take stock taking. And stock taking is only possible, if the shop is closed, and every items are accoutned for without other people removing the stocks until the stocktaking is over. Sometime, if the stocktaking is carried out in batchs, certain shelf have to be labelled. If the labels are taken away by playful shoppers, the stock taking may be not accurate, and then, then whole process have to be repeat again. And if shoppers are to move the thing from one place to another, the stock takers may missed that item again. If the shops are to close down just for stocktaking, they have to pay the same rate of the utility bills, and it will be unfair to them.

Road maintenance also requires a closure of the road. and in the pathway, certain place have to be condor off, so the work can be carried out. Such as washing, and waxing.

In Australia, shops are closed very early, so that the workers can have fun after work, and make merry all night. If the workers are to be made working long hours, I think the morale of the workers will be very low, and their family lives will be affected as well.


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