Brickfields iconic landmark closes after 30 years

The iconic 32-year-old Sri Kota Supermarket in Brickfields will permanently close down tomorrow. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
The iconic 32-year-old Sri Kota Supermarket in Brickfields will permanently close down tomorrow. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, May 30 — Sri Kota supermarket, an iconic landmark in Brickfields, will see its shutters rolled down permanently tomorrow.

Synonymous not only with residents but others in Bangsar and housing estates off Jalan Klang Lama, the 32-year-old Sri Kota Supermarket was more than just a neighbourhood store which provided fresh groceries.

Suprisingly, for the three decades, it was the only place in the area where school children and adults could purchase stationery from colour pencils and erasers to paper of various sizes and grades.

For S. Rajeswary, 40, who has lived in Brickfields for the past 12 years, Sri Kota had always been the  place to buy her son’s school supplies.

“Being the only store in the area to sell pens, pencils, pencil cases and many other much-needed school items, it was not just mere convenience but a necessity for me,” she said.

“Their prices are also considerably lower than many other stores, which we appreciated.”

The store announced it will close its doors tomorrow, but gave no reasons.

Brickfields, being home to at least eight schools, will feel its absence.

“We might not feel it now but with the coming school year, people might have to travel out to buy their children’s school supplies,” Rajeswary said.

“It is a shame to see the store leaving our community.’’

Restaurant owner Manoharan Selvaraju, 58, who has been doing business in Brickfields for 35 years, said the store was more like a “mom and pop” store and many people loved to purchase their goods there.

“It was easy to just walk in and buy a carton of milk or fruits or water with no long lines at the cashier,” he said.

“It used to be where people go to get their weekend groceries in the morning and afterwards just walk over to the shops for breakfast.

“It certainly livened up the community.”

The store was even frequented by people from Bangsar and as far as Jalan Klang Lama as it sold an array of local and imported goods.

“Knowing that they served a predominantly Indian community, the store even has items from India such as spice mix,” Manoharan said.

Asked why the store was closing, he said he did not know but opined that the price of real estate in the area had shot up.

“Perhaps the rent is too high, but whatever the case, they served the community in more ways than one,” he said.

For Sivaraman Savabathy, 56, who has been staying in the area for 23 years, the closure  would mean he now has to change his shopping habits.

“It was easy when everything was under one roof at Sri Kota. Now I will have to go to three or four shops to get what I need,” he said.

“It was also at an iconic part of Brickfields ... if you are lost, you use the store as the meeting point.” Sivaraman said the closure could be a sign of the times.

“The neighbourhood is transforming, with Sri Kota the latest to exit Brickfields. It comes  at a time when more parts of the city are developing,” he said.

He wondered  what Brickfields would be like in the next decade or so. The Sri Kota Supermarket in Brickfields that is closing down after 30 years.

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