Tiara Dewata, Bali’s oldest supermarket chain, has achieved legendary status on the island after being around for more than three decades. Netizens are expressing their sorrow as the shopping center relocates to a new site after their lease expires this month.
Tiara Dewata was launched in 1986 and, up to July this year, was located on Mayjen Sutoyo Number 55 in Dauh Puri, Denpasar. Long before other shopping malls on the Island of Gods rose to prominence, Tiara Dewata established itself as a fixture among Bali’s landmarks.
The iconic supermarket’s business manager Novie Setyo Utomo confirmed over the weekend that the business needs to relocate as their rent at the current site expires this month.
“This month [July] we’re already relocating,” he said.
“There’s nothing to fuss about. In business, there’s always a chance for relocation and whatnot. In this case, there are no disputes whatsoever.”
Novie maintained that Tiara Dewata is not in some sort of business jeopardy and the relocation is purely due to lease agreements, although he conceded that moving the location could cut some costs and open a window of opportunity for new customers.
There will be two Tiara Dewatas after their closure on Mayjen Sutoyo Street. One will be located on Tukad Yeh Aya Street and the other on Diponegoro Street. The latter was previously known as Freshindo market and will be rebranded as Tiara Dewata Sanglah.
Tiara Dewata is famous for its children’s playground that included bumper cars (locally known as bom bom kar) and stuffed animal vending machines. Those who have fond memories of Tiara Dewata understandably feel sad about the changes.
Mita, 30, who lives in Ubung, told a local media news outlet that during its heyday, visiting Tiara Dewata was “obligatory” for both shopping and leisure.
“I often played there during childhood. It’s a shame that now it has to be closed,” she said, referring to the original location’s closure.
While admitting that most people now prefer online shopping, Mita said she and her loved ones sometimes went to Tiara Dewata just for nostalgic reasons.
Separately, Ni Made Dian Kusyawati, 38, said that she had regularly been going to Tiara Dewata since she was in elementary school. As an adult, she often takes her own kids to the shopping center.
“It’s like we’re here for generations,” she said.