Indonesian president inaugurates refurbished Sarinah Building

Image Credit (ANTARA/Desca Lidya Natalia)

President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) on Thursday inaugurated Sarinah Building, which houses the Sarinah Department Store, on MH Thamrin Road, Central Jakarta, following a major refurbishment completed earlier this year.

“Praise be to God, today, we can see the new face of Sarinah,” he remarked while inaugurating the building.

The 15-story building was reopened on March 21, 2022, and has recorded five million footfalls in the four months since its reopening. At least 500 micro, small, and medium enterprises have exhibited their products at the Sarinah Department Store.

“This is the new Sarinah that has been transformed, and we are happily officiating today, and in these four months, how many (visits to Sarinah) are recorded, Mr. Erick (State-Owned Enterprises Erick Thohir)? It is five million customers who have visited Sarinah,” Widodo highlighted.

The President said that Sarinah is a national icon that unites the memories of different generations.

He then took a tour of the department store and commended products curated by Sarinah as professional works that must be appreciated.

“I am glad that the products have been curated meticulously and exhibited with detailed settings,” the President remarked.

He said he understood that while some products curated by Sarinah were high-priced, the quality of the products was proportional to the price.

“It ought to be expensive. We have weaved products and expensive batik products. Products that are properly curated, with high quality and are hand-made, must not be sold at low prices,” Widodo stated.

First Lady Iriana, former president Megawati Soekarnoputri, DPR RI Speaker Puan Maharani, State-Owned Enterprises Minister Thohir, Co-operatives and Small and Medium Enterprises Minister Teten Masduki, Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung, and Jakarta Deputy Governor Ahmad Riza Patria accompanied the President during the inauguration.

Guntur Soekarnoputra and Guruh Soekarnoputra, sons of first president Soekarno, who initiated the establishment of Sarinah Department Store, also attended the ceremony.

The department store was opened in August 1966 by President Soekarno, who wished to develop a store that could satisfy residents’ needs with good quality and affordable products. The store was named after Soekarno’s childhood nanny.