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So Long, Sasa: Here’s Who Else Left Singapore In 2019

So long, Sasa: The Hong Kong cosmetics franchise has just announced that it is closing all 22 of its stores in Singapore, after 6 consecutive years of losses. While online shopping and the abundance of other beauty retailers have made it easier than ever to stockpile cotton pads and Micellar water, Sasa’s signature fuchsia signboard and discounted perfume will always hold a special place in our hearts.

As of today (December 3), no departure date has been announced, but 170 employees have been affected and will be duly compensated. But given all the businesses that have come and gone in the past year, we have gotten pretty used to bidding our favourite food and stores goodbye.

Here are some other once-beloved businesses that left Singapore in 2019: 

Pablo Cheese Tart 

Length of time in Singapore: 19 months

The oozy cheese tart bakery from Osaka opened in Wisma Atria to much fanfare in August 2017. Alas, less than two years later, Pablo Cheese Tart quietly left our shores, amidst complaints that its tarts were expensive and inferior to their counterparts in Japan. 

BAKE Cheese Tart

Length of time in Singapore: 3 years

Remember the snaking queues at BAKE’s flagship store in ION? Thanks to the diminished interest in cheese tarts (see also: Pablo), the Hokkaido-based bakery closed just last month, and was replaced by its sister dessert brand, Croquant Chou Zakuzaku. 

Hello Kitty Café

Length of time in Singapore: 2 and a half years

In 2016, we said “hello!” to Hello Kitty, but sadly, 2019 forced us to say goodbye. Singapore’s first Hello Kitty café, which saw long queues when it opened in Changi Terminal 3 two years ago, shuttered its doors in February when the restaurant operator’s license and partnership with Sanrio ended. 

Gudetama Café

Length of time in Singapore: 3 years

Last month, we bid sayonara to the “egg-chanting” Gudetama Café in Suntec City, which also closed after the team’s license agreement with Sanrio ended.

Honourable Mentions:

These retailers have not fully left Singapore, but their reduced presence caused some mourning nonetheless. 

Metro at The Centrepoint

Length of time in Singapore: 5 years

Blame it on the abundance of shopping sites, or the low traffic in the Centrepoint, but in September, Metro’s six-storey flagship store closed, leaving only two outlets in Singapore (at Paragon and Causeway Point). Sports shop Decathlon will take over Metro’s former space in 2020.

DFS Singapore at Changi Airport (leaving 2020)

Length of time in Singapore: 38 years

It’s the end of an era: DFS Singapore e has given up its tobacco and liquor concessions at Changi Airport. South Korea’s Lotte Duty Free will replace Changi Airport’s biggest and oldest tenant once its lease expires next June. Why the sudden departure? In a statement to the media, the DFS group chairman said that “staying in Changi was not a financially viable option”. Ah well, they had a good run compared to some of the other businesses on this list. 

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