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Sat, Oct 03, 2009
The New Paper
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Ziyi snubbed by Orchard Rd shop
by Crystal Chan

FIRST, Hong Kong chief executive Donald Tsang was turned away by a bak kut teh stall in Singapore last year.

Now international movie star and Zhang Ziyi (right) has been told the same thing by a shop: Sorry, we’re closed.

Ziyi was refused entry into a high-end boutique while shopping in Singapore over the Hari Raya Puasa weekend.

Celebrity hairstylist David Gan, her friend, mentioned this in a blog entry on 23 Sep.

He wrote that around 6pm, a shop in Hilton Shopping Gallery on Orchard Road refused to admit him and Ziyi because it was closing time.

Ziyi’s mother was with them, but not the star’s fiance, Israeli tycoon Vivi Nevo.

Most of the shops in Hilton Shopping Gallery close between 6 and 7pm, unlike other shops in Orchard Road that stay open till 9.30pm.

In his blog entry, which was written in English, David wrote: “They rejected an international celebrity because of a technicality?

“I’m not saying they had to let us in because Ziyi is an international star, but rejecting her would give the brand and the service industry in Singapore a bad name.”

David, who is illiterate, pays five friends to write and upload the blog postings and photos once or twice a week.

He claimed Ziyi, who is from China, was all praise for service staff in Singapore despite being turned away.

And she returned to the shop the following day and bought something there. David said: “She thought the service industry in Singapore was fabulous. Everyone was so polite and thoughtful.”

But there’s always that one out of 100 stores “that would bring down the good name of the entire industry”.

Gossip at Hilton

David suggested that the shop retrain its staff to improve their customer service.

Ziyi was in Singapore for a shopping trip after a three-day shoot for National Geographic in the Indonesian part of Borneo.

David said she also enjoyed the food in a hawker centre in Tiong Bahru.

Although he would not reveal which shop it was, the incident has service staff in Hilton’s shops abuzz with speculation.

None of the 20 shops in the shopping gallery would admit to turning Ziyi away when contacted by The New Paper.

But the manager of a high-end jewellery store there said it has a policy of not admitting customers once it has put its bling-bling away for the day.

He said: “For security reasons, if we have packed up our jewellery and the safe is locked, customers can’t buy anything. But we don’t just shut the customer off. In cases like these, we ask them to visit our nearest outlet or to return the next day.”

A shop assistant at Japanese clothing brand Issey Miyake had seen David and Ziyi outside the shops and thought they looked happy.

He said: “Not long after, I heard something went wrong as one of the shops wouldn’t let them in. “It’s not good to turn people away. We were shocked when we heard about it. We know David and we would never do that to him.”

A manager in the Rolex shop at Hilton said she had attended to Ziyi that day and was surprised to learn that one of the shops had refused to serve the actress.

She said: “Ziyi came in the afternoon and looked at our watches but said she needed to consider the pricing. Eventually, she didn’t buy anything.”

Exceptions for reopening

A member of the sales staff at German label Jil Sander said they never turn customers away unless the lights are off or the staff have changed out of their uniforms.

She said: “Once the lights are off, it means the shop is closed. And if we’re not in our uniform, it’s inappropriate to receive customers.

“If we’re still attending to customers when another shopper walks in, we’ll still let him or her enter.”

A spokesman for Club 21, which runs several boutiques at Hilton, said the company would investigate if their shops were involved.

She said: “We will reiterate to all our staff the importance of maintaining high service standards, regardless of the stipulated operation hours.”

Mr Francis Ng, project manager of Hotel Properties Limited, which owns Hilton Singapore, told The New Paper that the company is also investigating the incident.

David also said he is helping Ziyi to look for a suitable place to stay in Singapore.

He said: “She really loves it here. I hope and wish that she’d marry a Singaporean so she’d be able to live here.

“But that’s just my wish and not what Ziyi wants.”

When she was at David’s Paterson Road condominium, she pointed to Ion Orchard and expressed interest in buying an apartment there.

Ion Orchard is a mixed development comprising a mall and an adjoining residential tower, The Orchard Residences.

The luxury apartment complex, which will have 48 floors of 175 high-end apartments, is about 90 per cent sold and will be completed next year.

This article was first published in The New Paper .

readers' comments
Who is this A-H, DG, who you think you are, big deal. Every shop/outlet have their rules and it could be due to safety reason that they cannot admit customers after closing time or close to closing time.

We cannot always break the rules, if they admit celebrities than how about others, we can afford to buy but just we are ordinary people on the street. Don't make life difficult for the staff.

All those ordinary people on the street, stop going to DG shop, it is only for celebrities, don't be thick skin.
Posted by simpson08 on Sun, 4 Oct 2009 at 11:54 AM
I personally do not see what is the big deal with not letting a customer into the shop after closing hours. Even if Zhang Ziyi is a celebrity, what on earth does it imply that a shop has to be opened after it is closed to allow simply a customer in? Doesn't David Gan knows that the accounts will have to be closed, and some of the shop's display have to be kept after a shop is closed? Does he intend the shop assistants to reopen the accounts and set back the shop displays to let Zhang Ziyi shop around and she's not a guarantee that she'll buy anything?

Even the Singapore government insisted on caning Michael Fay, regardless of the international pressure from the States, and this implies, Singaporeans have our own way of doing things. If David Gan is so damn ashamed (nobody would .....
Posted by yahyahpapaya on Sun, 4 Oct 2009 at 11:43 AM
What the f.u.c.k that ugly faggot doing with ZiYi? Maybe he is after her rich jewish boyfriend and some kosher meat...shalom! :)
Posted by johnnykwek on Sun, 4 Oct 2009 at 09:57 AM

I'm going to file this under "WHO GIVES A F UCK" So many people out of work and this crap website wants me to feel bad because two UNKNOWN, rich, C unts were not allowed to buy something after 6PM?????? Materialistic Singapore....YUCK!!!!! :rolleyes:
Posted by youdumbtwat on Sun, 4 Oct 2009 at 09:44 AM

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