The landmark 10-storey OG Building was opened in 1972 at Upper Cross Street in People’s Park, Chinatown. The OG People’s Park department store was housed within premises of the new building. A home-grown retailer in women’s fashion since the 1960s, OG Department Store is a family-run business that started out as Ocean Garments in September 1962. It operated a factory located in the Redhill Industrial Estate, which was officially opened by then Finance Minister Goh Keng Swee in January 1963. The company was a successful applicant under the Pioneer Industries Scheme implemented by the government to encourage foreign investments in Singapore. The company's patriarch-founder, China-born Tay Tee Peng, arrived in Singapore in 1958 after having lived in Indonesia for 25 years.
In 1964, OG opened a store on Coleman Street and by 1966, it had two other outlets at North Bridge Road and Market Street. In 1970, the company bought a plot of land at Upper Cross Street and constructed the OG Building. The OG People’s Park outlet housed within the building was officially opened in 1972.
Subsequently, other OG department stores were opened: OG Elite at Plaza Singapura in 1975 (closed in 1997), OG Orchard on 20 August 1983 (closed in 2004), OG Great World City in 1997 (closed in November 2003) and OG Albert Complex on 29 June 2000. Also in June 2000, OG People’s Park closed and the OG Building was demolished for redevelopment works.
The new OG building and store at People's Park reopened in December 2002 with more retail space. In March 2001, OG bought Orchard Point Mall and began renovation works in June 2003. The new OG Orchard opened on 15 January the following year in the refurbished Orchard Point. Following the opening of this new Orchard store, the company announced its plan to close its other older store on Orchard Road.
1. Goh to open factory. (1963, January 5). The Straits Times, p. 9; Page 2 Advertisements Column 2. (1968, September 30). The Straits Times, p. 2. Retrieved from NewspaperSG. Other ST articles record the starting year of the company as September 1962, see for e.g.: Tee, H. C. (2000, July 23). Auntie's style never fades. The Straits Times, p. 2. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
2. The Straits Times, 23 Jul 2000, p. 2; Tay, S. C. (2004, April 25). In & young. The Straits Times, p. 27; OG: Tapping the lucrative auntie market. (2008, May 31). The Straits Times, p. 6. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
3. Boy helps thieves burgle garments shop. (1964, June 16). The Straits Times, p. 1. Page 4 advertisements column 2. (1966, October 31). The Straits Times, p. 4. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
4. The Straits Times, 31 May 2008, p. 6; Warner, R. W. (1982). An analysis of multiple use buildings [unpublished thesis] (p. 36). Retrieved September 20, 2013, from http://digital.lib.lehigh.edu/fritz/pdf/442_7T.pdf
5. Page 11 Advertisements Column 2. (1975, June 28). The Straits Times, p. 11; Page 4 Advertisements Column 2. (1983, August 20). The Straits Times, p. 7; Low-key OG to go upmarket. (1997, April 11). The Business Times, p. 2. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
6. The Business Times, 11 Apr 1997, p. 2; Lam. J. (1998, March 25). Low-profile OG dept store hitting the expansion trail. The Business Times, p. 2; Ang, W. M. (1999, May 6). OG buys Albert Complex from Pidemco for $83.5 m in keen contest. The Business Times, p. 23; Ng, J. (2000, June 28). Only going for a while… The Straits Times, p. 40. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
7. Rashiwala, K. (2002, December 21). OG reopens it Chinatown store. The Business Times, p. 5. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
8. OG to give up Great World City outlet in Nov. (2003, May 8). The Business Times, p. 1; Wong, K. (2004, Junuary 15). Local designers get showcase at new OG. The Straits Times, p. H5. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
The information in this article is valid as at 2014 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.