Thomson Plaza

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Coordinates: 1°21′16.95″N 103°49′51.37″E / 1.3547083°N 103.8309361°E / 1.3547083; 103.8309361

Thomson Plaza
LocationUpper Thomson Road, Singapore
Address301 Upper Thomson Road, Singapore 574408
Opening date1979
DeveloperDBS Land
ManagementKnight Frank Asset Management Pte Ltd
OwnerMercatus Co-operative Limited
No. of stores and services154
Total retail floor area467,298 square feet (43,413.4 m2)
No. of floors4
WebsiteOfficial website

Thomson Plaza, formerly unofficially called Thomson Yaohan,[1] is a suburban shopping mall located along Upper Thomson Road, Singapore. Opened in 1979, Thomson Plaza is best known for having a Yaohan departmental store in the 1980s and 1990s.[1]


Thomson Plaza is built over 22,400 square metres (241,000 sq ft) of land and is relatively low-rise, in keeping with the neighbourhood around the Thomson area.[2]

Thomson Plaza is one of the first public buildings to be designed with barrier-free features from the onset.[3] In addition to the standard escalators, ramps were incorporated into the shopping complex's design to allow people in wheelchairs to freely navigate between different floors of the complex.[3] Other handicapped-friendly features in the complex include enlarged toilet cubicles that cater to wheelchair users and door levers, which enable people with difficulty controlling their hands to easily open doors around the complex.[3]


The proposal to build a residential and recreational complex along Upper Thomson Road was first approved by the Ministry of National Development in 1977 as part of its policy of decentralizing commercial activities away from Singapore's Central Business District.[4][5] The contract to build this complex was awarded to Japanese construction company Ohbayashi Gumi by Development Bank of Singapore, the appointed land developer for Thomson Plaza.[5] Initially estimated to cost SGD$22.3 million,[5] this project was completed eventually at a cost of $38 million in 1979.[2]

Even before its completion, Thomson Plaza attracted strong interest from retailers.[2] 80% of its retail outlets were leased out within 6 months of their launch.[2] Thomson Plaza later attracted the attention of Japanese retailer Yaohan, the pioneer of one-stop departmental stores in Singapore.[6][7] At that time, Yaohan was famous for its innovative approach to customer service; its first departmental store in Plaza Singapura reportedly attracted 955,000 shoppers a week.[7] Yaohan's store in Thomson Plaza became its third outlet in Singapore.[6]

In 1997, the parent company of Yaohan stores in Singapore was declared insolvent due to its over-expansion and rising retail rental costs in Singapore.[7] Thus, Yaohan closed its Thomson Plaza outlet, its last in Singapore, in 1998.[7] Yaohan's former retail space was taken over by NTUC Fairprice supermarket chain.[8]


  1. ^ a b "20 Singapore shopping malls that were super happening back in the day". Asia City Online. 26 February 2015. Retrieved 22 August 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d "Strong demand for Thomson Plaza shopping facilities". The Business Times. 27 January 1979. Retrieved 22 August 2015.
  3. ^ a b c "$39 million Thomson Plaza will be a boon for handicapped". The Straits Times. 20 May 1977. Retrieved 22 August 2015.
  4. ^ "$490 mil projects given planning approval by ministry". The Straits Times. 17 September 1977. Retrieved 22 August 2015.
  5. ^ a b c "Japanese film to build Thomson Plaza". The Straits Times. 5 July 1977. Retrieved 22 August 2015.
  6. ^ a b "A third Yaohan store". The Straits Times. 15 March 1978. Retrieved 22 August 2015.
  7. ^ a b c d "Yaohan (Singapore) on Singapore Infopedia". National Library Board, Singapore. 29 January 2014. Retrieved 22 August 2015.
  8. ^ "Fair Price moving into Thomson Plaza". The Straits Times. 31 December 1997.

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