Black Thursday? Beauty warehouse sale turns into ugly, crowded situation in Bukit Merah

Queues at Beauty Xmas Bazaar. Photos: BeautyFresh/Eunj Loh/Facebook
Queues at Beauty Xmas Bazaar. Photos: BeautyFresh/Eunj Loh/Facebook

Hordes of Singaporeans lined up in a queue yesterday that snaked down from a fourth-floor warehouse and onto a sidewalk under the rain where new arrivals had to be turned away early.

A beauty warehouse sale is being slammed today for poor crowd management by dozens of disgruntled shoppers after the line grew so long the store was forced to close it to new arrivals two hours earlier than announced. 

“To control the current queue condition, please take note that we will be closing our queue at 5pm,” the firm, BeautyFresh said. “We are extremely sorry for those that may be traveling down. All those in the queue currently are still valid for entry at our warehouse sales.” 

The Beauty Xmas Bazaar opened Thursday and runs through Saturday at the Jalan Kilang industrial area in Bukit Merah. It is supposed to be open from 10am to 7pm. BeautyFresh had promised up to 80% discount on all sorts of branded products and perfumes, including those by Jo Malone and Chanel.

Queue situation at Jalan Kilang. Photo: Gene Lee/Facebook
Queue situation at Jalan Kilang. Photo: Gene Lee/Facebook

Photos and videos showed immense queues and the road in front of the building congested with cars, presumably due to the influx of people heading to the sale.

Notice saying queue closed at 5pm. Photo: Sharon Kwek/Facebook
Notice saying queue closed at 5pm. Photo: Sharon Kwek/Facebook

Dozens complained about the event online.

“Perhaps the company may want to look into the negative comments and work on cutting the queue time both for entry and payment instead of apologizing. I am a quick shopper. Almost 5.5 hrs today. Four hours spent on queuing. Pretty ridiculous,” wrote a Eunj Loh.

“Bad crowd management, poorly ventilated small rooms. Honestly, if you try to scrimp on sale venue but push so hard to make the sale heard. It speaks a lot of how your management sees customers = money cows,” wrote a Serene Tham. 

The Singapore Atrium Sale Facebook page dedicated to information on sales around Singapore had criticized BeautyFresh for the way shoppers were treated, including having them tie up their personal bags to prevent them from stealing.

They easily anticipated the crowd, can afford to pay other pages to push for crowd but have no budget to rent shelters knowing this is the rainy season. The only measure they have is to tie your bags up to prevent you from stealing their products. How you feel and experience in the whole process is never important,” a post read

The beauty sale went viral after it was promoted on lifestyle site TheSmartLocal.

If you’re thinking of hitting the warehouse sale today or tomorrow, you might want to come prepared in comfortable shoes and an umbrella. 

Related:

Singaporeans up early to queue for limited edition Hello Kitty-themed carriers

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