In July last year, Teo Heng KTV announced that half of its 14 Singapore stores will be closed due to COVID-19.
However, when the Vulcan Post spoke to Teo Heng KTV last October, it said it resumed and returned only two branches – Katong and Sembawang – in August 2020.
Today it finally gave notice and will close all remaining branches after over 30 years of operation. It was founded in 1989 by Jackson Teo, who sold karaoke sound systems in the Katong Shopping Center.
Teo Heng KTV has been struggling to survive since the government released a notice in March last year that karaoke outlets and other entertainment venues should be closed as part of COVID-19 security measures.
Jackson previously told Lianhe Wanbao that losses of $ 500,000 could be expected for a one-month deal. So far, Teo Heng KTV has been closed for 10 months.
Reserves of S $ 1.5 million used up
In our previous interview with Jean Teo, the director of Teo Heng KTV, she named the rental as her "biggest headache".
In addition, Teo Heng KTV's 120 employees were forcibly sacked while the store was closed.
Photo credit: Teo Heng KTV
They all received full salaries for the first six months after the shutdown, but since then their wages have been reduced by 50 percent since last October.
According to Jean, her employees understood her financial situation very well.
In fact, it was their employees who proposed this wage cut. They understand that this is a difficult time for Teo Heng KTV and they wanted to help ease their burden.
Fortunately, they still raised some money from their core business, the sale of sound systems, but unfortunately sales have fallen by "at least 50 percent" due to the pandemic.
At the time, Jean also announced that they had reserves of around S $ 1.5 million to stay afloat.
If COVID-19 drags on, I don't know if we can survive a few more months. Once our reserves are empty, it really means we have to shut everything down.
– Jean Teo, director of Teo Heng KTV
Lost her chance to pan
Jackson Teo, founder of Teo Heng KTV / Photo credit: Teo Heng KTV
Jackson previously told Shin Min Daily News that he plans to raise S $ 1 million and have one final battle to overcome this crisis. With the remaining outlets he hopes to make up for the losses when they reopen.
The plan was never carried out as the karaoke outlets are still largely closed.
Fortunately, authorities announced plans to launch limited pilot programs to help reopen the nightlife industry.
However, Teo Heng KTV decided not to apply to reopen as the high costs involved – such as running swab tests for each customer – will continue to weigh on the business.
It was therefore planned to convert the existing sales outlets into work and study rooms with free WiFi.
The plans have now failed as the reopening of the pilot programs has been suspended due to increasing COVID-19 cases in the community.
This means they will no longer be able to continue with their reopening plans. Without an income, they cannot afford to pay back their rent.
Even though they have “good landlords” who are kind enough not to collect rent from them for the time being, she knows that this is unfair for them and has therefore made the painful decision that Teo Heng KTV will finally close.
Teo Heng KTV currently has to pay the outstanding rent payments to the landlords from August 2020 to February 2021, otherwise there is a risk that they will be sued.
Selected image source: Teo Heng KTV