Teo Heng KTV is closing down its outlet at Star Vista. After the closure of that outlet, the KTV chain will be left with three stores. In its heyday, it used to run 14 stores across Singapore before the pandemic hit.
The last three outlets are located at Causeway Point, JCube, and Suntec City.
In a post on Facebook, Teo Heng’s founder Jackson Teo lamented in mandarin that the biggest victims of the pandemic are KTV operators. “Although we have since closed 10 branches and the losses are heavy, we still hope to continue to operate Teo Heng in such trying times.”
“At the moment, we are trying to retain the three pivoted KTV branches and we hope that Singaporeans can come and support us. Even though singing is not allowed, you can come and use our spaces for work, study, and relaxation. We hope we can continue to survive this period,” Jackson said.
The Teo Heng founder noted that in a worst-case scenario, they might have to close the business temporarily and reopen only when the pandemic is over.
The business which was founded in 1989, had previously shared that it incurred losses of S$500,000 during a month-long closure. It was closed for a year when the pandemic entered Singapore in 2020 and reopened thereafter as a pivoted entity, amid the ban on singing under Covid-19 restrictions.
It has been about 24 months since the pandemic hit Singapore.
Work, dine, and chill concept
In March last year, it reopened rooms for customers to “work, dine, and chill”. The rooms can be used for work and birthday celebrations, and customers can bring their own food and beverages – like bubble tea. The rates are from S$5 per hour for a room.
The rooms are soundproof and ideal for students who wish to study in a quiet environment, according to Teo Heng. The rooms are also equipped with WiFi connectivity that comes free to use.
There’s also a karaoke system to play music in the rooms and customers can bring their laptops to watch movies in the rooms to utilise its sound systems.
Focusing on selling karaoke sets and services
Last month, Teo Heng opened a KTV systems experience centre at Woodlands, Causeway Point, where professional karaoke consultants will be there to help customers who want to buy a home karaoke system.
Teo Heng said the centre is equipped with state-of-the-art karaoke systems and technologies, such as Wasuka and BMB complete home KTV packages, as well as speakers, amplifiers, and microphones. A check online revealed that the experience centre is situated at Teo Heng’s Causeway Point outlet.
Teo Heng is also coming up with other services in tie-ups with partners, such as providing singing courses to be coached by vocal instructors. The required Covid-19 measures will be followed.
The KTV chain is also offering programmes and classes in collaboration with the International Sports Academy to be held at its branches. According to an advertisement post, courses include sports massage classes.
30-year old family KTV business
Teo Heng has been around for over 30 years. It is a family business and the siblings of founder Jackson are all directors of the company.
Jackson first started selling karaoke sound systems at Katong Shopping Centre before he decided to open a karaoke studio at another level in the same mall.
It brands itself as a family-friendly budget KTV chain. The target customers are students and drinks are sold at an affordable rate of S$1 per can. Smoking and alcoholic drinks are banned at the outlets.
Revenue comes from the rental of the rooms. Before the pandemic in 2020, the business hired over 120 workers. It is likely that the staff count has since been reduced, due to the company’s downsizing.
Teo Heng had previously said that Covid-19 is their biggest crisis to date.
Featured Image Credit: Teo Heng, Sian Chay Medical Institution