Singapore has some unique experiences and Mustafa Centre is definitively one of them. Imagine a store where you can find everything from the latest electronic gadget, groceries for the week, sports clothing, brand new luxury and not so fancy watches, office supplies and even intimate toiletries. Right, I know you have also been to a shopping mall before however it is not exactly like Mustafa.
The shop looks like a 4 storey 24×7 flea market spread across 2 blocks of Little India. Traffic in front is chaotic and, if you have a backpack or big bag, you are required to either leave it at the door or wrap it with hellerman tape. With shelves full of merchandise that almost fall over you, it is crammed with people from all nationalities trying to find a good bargain.
There doesn’t seem to be much logic on how merchandise is displayed throughout the store. I wasn’t able to find sense in having the electronics department right in front of groceries and shoes. Sales staff is not that friendly and knowleageble of the products and if you are looking for electronics, don’t expect to have someone at your service explaining what the differences between product TX47a and TY48 are (try Funan, close to City Hall MRT, if you are looking for electronics) Also, not sure if it was just bad luck, but there was a lot of people with strong BO. Couldn’t figure why as the shop has a pretty good deodorant section.
However I have to admit: if you do your homework, know what you want to buy and don’t mind crowded places then it is actually a good shopping experience. Prices are generally low (not everything is “dirty cheap” as some people would say to you) and you can find a few bargains around the shop. Also, I found the informal “supermarket-like” atmosphere of the shop really care free as I could walk through the aisles and look for the goods I was after. It is really different shopping experience which is definitively worth a try (at least once!). Shopping at Mustafa has made it to my “list of things to do in Singapore”.
Mustafa is located at 145 Syed Alwi Rd, Singapore 207704, Singapore Tel: 65 62955855.
* no, I didn’t make a penny or get a discount for this post 🙂