Karaoke outlets and other entertainment venues in Singapore have had to close since late March due to the government's COVID-19 recommendation.
It was undoubtedly a difficult time for these companies as the cessation of business meant no income and still had to bear the overhead.
The biggest hurdle is uncertainty – they have no idea how long they can hover when there is no guarantee when they can open again.
So it's no wonder that Teo Heng KTV Studio is closing half of its 14 branches here to reduce the burden.
The first two stores to be closed are in the Katong Shopping Center and the Sembawang Shopping Center, as their leases expire soon in August.
The Katong outlet has already been cleared and the Sembawang outlet will be the next.
"Very bad" business
In an interview with Shin Min Daily News, founder Jackson Teo repeatedly said that the current business situation was "very bad".
The 62-year-old previously shared with Lianhe Wanbao that his business is expected to lose $ 500,000 on a one-month shutdown.
Since Teo Heng KTV has been closed for about four months, it can be assumed that its losses have so far been up to S $ 2 million.
Despite such large losses, Jackson made the decision to continue paying salaries to all of his employees to help them get through this difficult time. His company currently employs over 100 people.
In a Facebook post, Jackson described his employees as the "wealth" of the company. It is therefore only right in this critical phase that he "cares more about them".
30 years of blood and sweat
Teo Heng was founded in 1989 and has existed for more than 30 years. Since then, it has established itself as an affordable family-style karaoke studio in Singapore.
Jackson started selling audiovisual equipment at the Katong Shopping Center and discovered that young people like to sing.
This inspired the idea of setting up their own karaoke studio. He rented another unit in the mall on the first floor and opened Teo Heng KTV.
The company's website stated that Jackson was not from a wealthy family. Since his youth, he has earned his own pocket money by juggling various part-time jobs.
For this reason, he wanted to open an inexpensive KTV business so that young customers could sing without spending a bomb.
From the beginning, I wanted this to be a clean, happy and healthy place where young people can come and sing. We didn't sell alcohol, we didn't allow smoking, and we only charged $ 1 for drinks. You can even bring your own food and drinks.
– Jackson Teo, founder of Teo Heng KTV Studio, in an interview in 2012
Jackson described the current situation as a "natural disaster" and said he was not ready to let his blood and sweat just go down the drain in the past 30 years.
He plans to raise S $ 1 million and wage a final battle to overcome this crisis. With the remaining branches, he hopes to make up for the losses and reopen them in six months.
“We are ready to close half of the stores and keep half of the hope. When the pandemic is over in six months, we can continue to operate and make a comeback without losing our money, ”he told Shin Min Daily News.
"I'm terrified that I won't be able to open a business in six months, but I can only accept my fate."
Selected image source: Teo Heng KTV