More businesses packing up in Ipoh

It just reflects the tough economic times we are having that more businesses, those that I have had some remote interests in, are packing up.

The Secret Garden, which is located just around the corner after KPJ Hospital has closed, presumably looking for buyer. Earlier last month they claimed that they were closed for renovation, and would be reopened again early December 2019. That did not happen. Let’s see if they reopen for Chinese New Year in 2020.

Peninsula Cafe, which is located on Jalan Gopeng, Taman Chateau’s side, is up for sale too. They are currently still operating, but I saw an advert on my Facebook news feed recently that they are trying to sell their business for RM150,000. The advert seems to have been put up since last month.

Peninsula Cafe for sale
Both businesses are set in a bungalow, with ample of space around. The Secret Garden has been around for ages. The business they run there is certainly more sound than Peninsula Cafe. They try to serve fine dining type food. It is a nice place for a drink in the evening, with live singing as well sometimes. They can do big functions, like wedding. Peninsula Cafe positions itself to be more like a children friendly cafe, but classy enough for adults. They often have birthday events going on there, because they offer some decorations for the occasions. It is a neat value added service, but it is not easy to run a business this way, with tiny tiny parties for couples and all. Rental for bungalow like The Secret Garden is apparently only around RM4k a month the last time I heard few years ago. Still it is difficult to sustain such business. Think wages for workers is the killer, easily in the range of RM20k and above?

Bubble tea businesses are another one that we will see more of them struggling. One I am aware of is trying to be offloaded for about RM100k, after probably 6 months in business? Many predicted the frenzy will die down very quickly. Yet the sentiment did not deter more bubble tea shops from propping up in Ipoh.

My business can barely hold up to last year’s level, which was already nothing to shout about. In a way it is not as bad as some businesses are experiencing. We had a strong second half to thank for, luckily. But having said that this December is the worst December we had so far.. So it is another tough year ahead, again. Happy New Year!!

 

Haagen Dazs has pulled out from Ipoh

Noticed the Haagen Dazs signage had gone missing the other day I went to De Garden. Someone told me that they are renovating, rather than closed as I initially thought. I found it odd that they would take the signage away though if that was the case.

Haagen Dazs De Garden Ipoh

But later heard that Haagen Dazs has completely pulled out from Ipoh. They didn’t relocate to Ipoh Parade, which again turned out to be fake news. My wife actually brought the children to Ipoh Parade hoping to find Haagen Dazs there after someone told her they have moved there! It is unbelievable what some people can come up with.

We are very disappointed that Haagen Dazs decided to pull out from Ipoh, or in fact the whole of Perak. We love the Haagen Dazs ice cream. Much preferred over Inside Scoop also located in De Garden. No comparison for us to be honest, in terms of the quality and also the blend of taste their ice cream. We can keep eating and eating and eating..

When we were in KL, we brought our children to their outlet too. But turns out that the one in Bukit Bintang, by the roadside, is no longer there either. We went to the one in Mid Valley shopping mall. We used to be a member, and thought we are still a member. But for some reasons after they closed down the outlet in Ipoh, they took out members associated to that outlet from their system too!

Can’t believe a city like Ipoh could not sustain a  Haagen Dazs outlet. They had been around in De Garden for so many years. But to be honest their business did seem to have dwindled, and there is more competition in the form of Inside Scoop as well within De Garden itself. But at least they should have just moved to another location, rather than completely closing the only outlet in Ipoh! Argh!!

 

 

 

Nam Heong is someway behind from 25 branches by 2020

Bumped into this news article dated back in 2017, where it was claimed by the owner of Nam Heong that he will be opening 25 branches by year 2020: Nam Heong to open 25 branches

Robot waitresses in Nam Heong
Image via Marcus Pheong / Malay Mail Online

Few months ago I noticed that the flagship Nam Heong in Ipoh was closed. Till today their website is still showing the shop on its store locator page.

Nam Heong Store Locator

Including this flagship, there are currently still only 10 branches in Malaysia. Someway away from the targeted 25 branches by year 2020. Are we going to see many more opening next year? It is already December 2019. And I have not seen robots taking over waitressing jobs in any of the Nam Heong shops, yet..