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Visiting The New Sarinah

Amira Sofa

05 April 2022

Smartcitizen, do you already have plans this weekend? If you don’t, you can visit Sarinah. Yup, Sarinah mall reopened on March 21 after being revitalised since 2020. It comes with a new concept as The Window of Indonesia. What is this concept like? What can you enjoy while visiting Sarinah? Let’s read more to find out.

Sarinah From Time to Time

Before looking into the new Sarinah, let's go back to how Sarinah was originally built. PT. The Indonesian Department Store, or known as Sarinah, is a State-Owned Enterprise (BUMN) which was established on August 17, 1966. Its development was initiated by President Soekarno with the mission of facilitating trade in domestic products and encouraging Indonesia's economic growth. Located on Jalan M.H. Thamrin, Central Jakarta, Sarinah is the first skyscraper and mall in Jakarta. The name Sarinah itself was given by President Soekarno from the name of a caregiver in his childhood who was very influential in his life.

In the 1970s, Sarinah helped support and encourage the Indonesian economy to promote local handicrafts. Sarinah officially changed its name to PT. Sarinah (Persero) on April 10, 1979. Over time, Sarinah developed the business sector by opening a branch in Semarang and launching new programs to promote MSME products to the public. Not only trying to attract the attention of customers, in the 1990s, Sarinah also renovated the building on Jalan M.H. Thamrin Jakarta with the aim of attracting new tenants so that Sarinah remains a popular shopping centre in Jakarta. It was only in the 2000s that Sarinah developed a business other than the retail sector, namely trading. One of the programs is the export of Sarinah Home products and several commodities to other countries through partnerships with MSMEs and cooperatives.

In 2020, it was announced that Sarinah would undergo a revitalization to become more up-to-date and be able to reach today's markets. If you remember, the closing of McDonald's Sarinah at that time had caught the public's attention. Well, a number of other tenants also closed outlets due to this massive revitalization due to the transformation of the Sarinah concept. Sarinah, which is now a community mall, provides creative spaces, historical and cultural tours and shops, with 100% local products. After about 2 years of revitalization, Sarinah is reopening with a new, more elegant and modern face.

What Can You Do in Sarinah?

There are many things you can do at Sarinah mall. This mall provides many things, from food outlets, shopping, historical and cultural tours, to interesting photo spots. Before the revitalization, the Sarinah building had a colourful facade. Meanwhile, the current Sarinah looks more modern with a local touch. There is also a beautiful green open space that can be a gathering place. Entering the mall from the West entrance on the G floor, you will find an outlet selling fashion collections to knick-knacks in front of you. Raising the wealth of local cultural heritage, the outlet is filled with batik, weaving, ceramics, and accessories. There are many choices of works from local producers that you can choose from, such as Hengki Kawilarang, Riana Lombok, Biru Acc, and so on. If you turn left, there are historical and cultural tours in the form of reliefs from the Bung Karno era statues. This relief had shocked the virtual world when it was found after a long time hidden in the AHU engine room behind the old Sarinah fast food outlet. It is believed that Bung Karno was trying to convey a message through the relief of the statue. Judging from its look, the reliefs of the statues in Sarinah represent the economic activities of the people, especially in the fields of agriculture, plantations, and fisheries. It can be seen from the symbols of farmers, women carrying merchandise, and fishermen. Walking slightly to the right side of the relief, there is a mini “museum” with walls filled with photos and narratives of Sarinah's journey from time to time, from 1962, 1970, 1980, 1990-2000s, to 2022.

Beside the mini museum, there is a staircase that can lead you to the B floor. This floor provides beverage outlets, snacks, health and beauty outlets, money changers, and prayer rooms. If you want to shop, you can go back to floor G, or go up to floor 1. Floor 1 has restaurants, cafes, beverage outlets, and modern clothing outlets with a touch of local and international brands. Going up one floor, you can pamper yourself with Srikandi salon services and sample local food and snacks. Just like the previous floor, the 2nd floor also sells exclusive ethnic clothing. Not only ethnic and branded fashion and accessories, Sarinah also sells various handicrafts, such as home knick-knacks, wayang, furniture, to food gifts, which you can find on the 3rd floor.

You only want to hang out in Sarinah or just to hold an event? No worries! As a community mall, the new Sarinah provides many community spaces, such as the Skydeck and Amphitheatre. Access to the Skydeck can be reached via the 3rd floor. On the balcony of the Skydeck, you can enjoy the city landscape while taking pictures with the backdrop of the tall buildings of Jakarta with friends or family. There is also a stage for arts, culture, crafts, or creative economy communities who want to hold events. Meanwhile, you can access the Amphitheatre via G floor, West lobby. On the steps of the amphitheatre, you can sit, chat with friends, while watching vehicles pass by on Jalan Thamrin. It is recommended that you visit the skydeck or the Amphitheatre in the late afternoon so you won’t suffer from heat. 

Easy Transportation Access in Sarinah

Located in the centre of the city, Sarinah has easy public transportation access. You can take Transjakarta corridor 1 on the Blok M-Kota route, 6A (Monas-Ragunan via Kuningan), and 6B (Monas-Ragunan via Semanggi), then get off at the Sarinah Bus Stop. As an alternative, you can use a non-BRT Transjakarta service with route 1N (Blok M-Tanah Abang) or 1P (Senen-Bundaran Senayan) and get off at Sarinah 1 bus stop. For those of you who love riding bicycle, Sarinah is also access-friendly, because bicycle parking is provided for visitors.

Home for MSMEs and Tourism Destination 

Looking at the new Sarinah, it can be concluded that this mall is not just a place of entertainment. It is a destination for local and international tourists as well as a home for MSMEs and cultural arts activists. Sarinah is expected to be a driving force for MSMEs and various communities to be able to develop and collaborate in advancing the city's economy.

That's the new concept of Sarinah mall. It’s cool, isn’t it? So, are you interested in Sarinah? If you want to know more about Sarinah, you can visit  and @sarinahindonesia on Instagram!

Citizens of Jakarta

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Amira Sofa

Seorang penulis lulusan Sastra Inggris dari Universitas Padjadjaran. Menggemari musik, puisi, film, dan isu sosial dan kesehatan mental. Saat ini, bergabung dengan tim Jakarta Smart City sebagai Content Writer.

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