Rizki Dewi Ayu, Raden Putri, M Faiz Zaki, Naufal Ridhwan, Jakarta – Social media has recently been abuzz with the news that Tanah Abang Market in Central Jakarta is increasingly empty of shoppers.
Some TikTok videos show that many shops in Southeast Asia's largest textile market are closed. The low number of visitors leads to a drastic drop in sales, and the traders are hardly affected.
In a video shared by a TikTok account @tanahabangcollection, many merchants complained about how quiet Tanah Abang Market was after the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, traders have to rack their brains searching for sales strategies, including by selling online via TikTok Live or Shopee Live.
"The market is probably quieter now than it was last year," said a trader in a video quoted on Monday, September 11, 2023.
Traders' stories about the quiet market were also uploaded by another TikTok account @grosirbajuwanita. Traders said they were saddened by the fact that many of their products were not being sold albeit selling them online via social media platforms.
Netizens commented on the posts, arguing that this was due to the rise of online shops offering cheaper prices. Moreover, many online sellers involve celebrities or influencers to boost their sales.
Blok G of Tanah Abang Market had previously been in the spotlight as it appeared deserted and in a very worrying condition. Stores were littered with garbage. There were also reports of empty stores being used by thugs at night and as places to do illegal drugs after bongs and broken liquor bottles were found.
The decline in activity on the second and third floors of Blok G of Tanah Abang Market began when the COVID-19 pandemic broke out.
In response, Jakarta Acting Governor Heru Budi Hartono said in Sunter, on July 7, 2023, that he would investigate the situation together with the police to address the problems in Tanah Abang Market Blok G which is prone to criminal activities.