Corporate Profile

Evolution of Brand's Visual Identity

Logo: Metro

Year: 1982

Company: Metro Pte Ltd

Designer: Landor Associates

Metro, one of Singapore’s most successful department stores, company was first started by Ong Tjoe Kim 王梓琴 in 1957.

The name was inspired by his passion for the silver screen movies and the famous Metro Goldwyn Mayer movie studio.

Back in 1957, when the first Singapore flagship store was opened in High Street, the logo was simply the name spelled in very basic typography. A pair of Chinese calligraphy words 美羅, written by the founder’s brother, was also used. These 2 words in Chinese, pronounced as ‘Mei Luo’ not only sounded like ‘Metro’ but carried a deeper meaning in Chinese, which means ‘beautiful textiles/clothes’ (美丽的绫羅绸缎)and “has everything /all embracing” (包羅万象) – it reflected department stores of the old days which sold not only sold clothes, but also textiles and every conceivable lifestyle needs then.

The evolution of the logo began in the early 70s. The inspiration of the first logo came from the ancient Chinese seal and the pair of original calligraphy words, 美羅.

Today, the company has a logo that is distinctive and fashion forward the company logo is one imbued in timelessness – a touch of heritage for the modern age.

The modern day logo, designed by Landor Associates in 1982, includes the graceful calligraphic ‘M’, customised hand-lettered Metro wordmark in English and brush-lettered calligraphy Metro wordmark in Chinese. The bars framing the ‘M’ and the stylized stylised M is a creative representation of a seal and reminiscent of the first logo seal. The new logo has an ‘East meets West’ influence and is a reflection of its Asian heritage infused with an international and modern appeal. The use of red as a primary visual identification continues our longstanding association with the Chinese colour for good fortune.

The 1982 logo, conceptualised and made memorable with its unique Asian touch and simplicity, is still being used today and has become recognisable here in Singapore and in the region.

Awards & Accolades

Business Continuity Management System
Metro is committed to the safety and protection our people, our customers, the intangibles, physical and environment assets. We continually build competence, capacity, resilience and readiness to deal with risks and events that may threaten to disrupt business operations and customer service.

With the BS 25999-2:2007 and BS 540:2008, our stakeholders now have the assurance that business interruptions can be minimised. Continuous audits will ensure that the rehearsed processes, personnel and equipment are maintained and improved to ensure that the organisation is able to recover and restore the critical functions, services and products to an agreed level and timeframe.

Certified by BSI in Aug 2012
Service Above & Beyond the Call
At Metro, we are committed to continually provide quality products and improve our services to enhance customer satisfaction. Our holistic approach to surprising and delighting our customers has allowed us to meet with Singapore Service Class certification’s criteria in 2004 and 2008. Such achievements will continue to motivate us to outdo ourselves and bring the very best to our customers.
Investing In People
People are our business. At Metro, we place great importance in learning and we understand that our success depends largely on creating a pleasant and memorable customer experience. We groom our people to be the best they can be. For this effort, we were awarded the People Developer certification in 2001, 2004 and 2008.
Nurturing Service Stars
With the right training, we believe anyone can shine. At Metro, our approach to on-going training sets new standards to ensure that every one of our associates have access to the skills and knowledge that will help them to excel in their performance and grow as team players.

This is the reason why we introduced the Service Excellence Award to honour team members who deliver outstanding customer service throughout the year. The award provides not just a platform for recognition, but financial benefits as well.
Healthy People, Happier People
At Metro, we believe that healthy people are happier people. The Metro Workplace Health Program aims to improve the state of health, lifestyle, fitness and emotional well-being of our associates. This is actively promoted through a string of physical and fun activities as well as health education initiatives implemented throughout the year.
Cultivating Lifelong Learning
We are deeply committed to enhancing the quality and productivity of our associates. The various initiatives and programmes mapped out each year ensure the continuous learning and development of our associates. Metro was awarded the Lifelong Learner Award in 2006 for its contribution to cultivating a globally competitive and ready workforce.

Social Responsibility

Metro places great importance on actively enriching lives with positive contributions to our community and environment at home and abroad. It is also one of the five principles in our mission statement.

Through our CSR projects, we aim to build strong local communities, minimise our environmental footprint, promote diversity and to be responsive to children in need.

With these aims in mind, we have initiated the Metro for Children annual charity fundraising programme with Singapore International Foundation (SIF) and Pioneer Junior College to help children from needy communities in Asia.

We also became the first departmental store to promote and support global green efforts by creating a more caring and sustainable environment through the Bring Your Own Bag (BYOBD) movement and launching The Metro Green Project.



Metro For Children Project Milestones

About Metro for Children Charity
Launched by Metro Pte Ltd in 2001, the Metro for Children charity is an annual fundraising initiative that aims to help children from needy communities in Asia. The money raised will help finance the participation of Singapore students and skilled volunteers in capacity-building, sharing of knowledge and carrying-out community service projects for the long-term benefit and betterment of lives for these communities.

With the generous support and donations from its shoppers, corporate partners and Metro staff, this project has raised over S$1 million for Cambodia, Laos, India, Myanmar and Vietnam since its commencement. Metro for Children is a collaborative effort by Metro Pte Ltd, the Singapore International Foundation and Pioneer Junior College. Together, we identify areas for improvement and work towards building tangible growth and progress in the long run.

Metro For Children Project milestones are the result of our devoted involvement for communities in need.

Water for Life project in Lamongan Regency, Indonesia

Dec 2012 - 2015
In partnership with Pioneer Junior College (PJC), Metro For Children is raising funds for the Singapore International Foundation (SIF) Water for Life project. The funds raised will go towards providing clean drinking water to the people of Lamongan Regency, Indonesia, through the purchase and installation of 150 membrane water filters over the next three years. Parts of the funds raised will also be used to send PJC students and specialist volunteers from SIF for project implementation.

Learn from the video how dirty water can cause illnesses to the communities in Lamongan.


Beacon of Learning, Bandung, Indonesia
Aug 2009 - 2010
This project, supported by the Metro For Children charity, involved providing financial aid to needy students, capacity building training for teaching staff involving Singapore International Foundation teacher volunteers, and constructing a multi-purpose hall at Sekolah Menengah Atas Negeri 11 (SMAN 11 Bandung), a state senior high school in Bandung, Indonesia. The two-year long initiative was launched in Aug 2010.


Singapore Volunteers Overseas Specialist Team
(Special Education) Project, Vietnam

This project, in partnership with Hanoi’s National College of Education, aimed to upgrade the quality of special needs education in the country by reviewing the current teaching curriculum and introducing new teaching methodologies. The three-year long initiative involved the participation of teachers from the Asian Women’s Welfare Association (AWWA) who conducted six training programmes for 45 special education trainee teachers at the college. The project’s opening ceremony and first training frame started at the end of 2010.


Singapore Volunteers Overseas Specialist Team
(Paediatric Intensive Care Unit) Project, Cambodia

Nov 2007 – Oct 2010
A follow-up from the earlier Singapore Volunteer Overseas Specialist Team (Paediatric Emergency Care) Project from 2004-2007, this Singapore International Foundation project aimed to continue building up the capacity of Cambodia’s National Paediatric Hospital (NPH) in treating critically ill patients by training by PICU medical professionals from Singapore’s KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital. Apart from lectures and bedside training, the Singapore International Foundation also facilitated the retrofitting of a cleaning room and equipment donation from KKH, with support from the Metro for Children charity.


In-field Singapore Volunteer Oversea (Social
Worker), Cambodia

Aug 2006 – Oct 2009
The Singapore International Foundation fielded a social worker who was attached to Mercy Teams International (MTI) in Cambodia to counsel and rehabilitate abused children and to help MTI improve its systems and procedures to provide more effective intervention to the centre’s clients.

Initially a one-year stint, the volunteer chose to extend her stint and ended up serving at MTI for more than three years. During her stay, she built up great rapport with her Cambodian clients and MTI colleagues. Because of her effort in supervising them in their counseling sessions, the MTI staff members are now better trained and more confident of their ability to help their abused clients, while client care quality has also been enhanced.


Singapore Volunteer Oversea Speech Therapy
Workshops, Cambodia

Apr 2008 – Mar 2009
In response to the high frequency of choking and lung infections common among children with cerebral palsy and those with severe intellectual disabilities, the project aimed to provide Cambodian medical professionals working with such clients the training in feeding and communications skills.

A team of five speech therapists from the Speech-Language and Hearing Association in Singapore helped to train some 20 professional caregivers at Centre for Child and Adolescent Mental Health (CCAMH) and other local NGOs on topics such as communication and feeding fundamentals, child interaction strategies as well as illness-specific intervention techniques. Participants were able to apply the concepts taught during the training easily, and helped reduce infections and choking among children.


In-field Singapore Volunteer Overseas (Special
Needs Educator), Cambodia

Jun 2008 - Jun 2009
Also attached to CCAMH, the Singapore International Foundation special needs educator volunteer’s carried on the good work done by her predecessor, the occupational therapist volunteer. Apart from working with her CCAMH ccolleagues and continuing to help them improve their therapeutic skills, the volunteer participated in national conferences and discussions on education for children with disabilities, where she shared her knowledge at regional and national levels within Cambodia.


In-field Singapore Volunteers Overseas
(Occupational Therapist), Cambodia

Apr 2007 – Jun 2008
The occupational therapist volunteer fielded by the Singapore International Foundation spent a year working at Cambodia’s Centre for Child and Adolescent Mental Health CCAMH. His role was to train local therapists to deliver quality services to children with cognitive and neuropsychiatric disabilities such as mental retardation, cerebral palsy, seizures and challenging behaviour like co-morbidity. During his year-long stint, the volunteer worked actively with his 15 CCAMH colleagues to discuss treatment plans for clients, review and develop a management protocol, as well as build up the resource pool of the centre, with equipment and toys for the children.


Singapore Volunteers Overseas Specialist Team
Early Childhood Education & Development Project,

Aug 2005 – Mar 2008
Involving Singapore volunteers from the Association of Early Childhood Educators, the project aimed to groom the next generation of Vietnamese through an effective early childhood education programme.

Over the three-year project, the volunteers trained more than 60 Vietnamese early childhood educators at Hanoi’s National College of Education in pedagogy and early childhood education applications. They also supervised the sharing of knowledge and skills gained by the Vietnamese trainees with their fellow educators from other parts of Vietnam.


Singapore Volunteers Overseas Playback Theatre
Workshops, Cambodia

Apr 2006 – Dec 2007
The objective of this project was to introduce the staff at Mercy Teams International (MTI), Cambodia, to playback theatrecas a new method of social therapy/intervention that is effective for working with abused children and youth at risk.

Over 20 members of the Tapestry Playback Theatre in Singapore conducted two training workshops and assisted the Cambodian social workers in carrying out two community theatre performances for MTI’s clients (i.e. disadvantaged children and their families) and for girls at a residential shelter who have either been trafficked or abused. After the training, MTI staff reported that their clients had become more confident in sharing their difficult life experiences and the staff had also learnt new ways to build trust and show empathy to their clients.


Singapore Volunteers Overseas Specialist Team
Counselling Project, Cambodia

Apr 2006 – Nov 2007
This project is a response to the need for better-trained social workers and counsellors to work with children who have suffered sexual and physical abuse.

Four Singapore senior therapists from the Counselling and Care Centre in Singapore fielded by the Singapore International Foundation, conducted a series of five intensive training sessions over a period of one year for more than 50 counsellors from Cambodia’s Mercy Teams International and other NGOs in the country. After the year-long training, the participants were awarded a certification in ‘Systemic Counselling for Children At Risk’.


Singapore Volunteers Overseas Early Childhood
Education Workshops, Ullon, India

Jul 2005 – Nov 2007
The aim of this project was to improve the access and quality of early childhood education in rural India.

Over three years, the Singapore International Foundation fielded a team of Singapore volunteers from the Regional Training and Resource Centre in Early Childhood Care and Education, Asia, to conduct six training workshops to upgrade the skills of over 20 early childhood education trainers at Ullon Social Welfare Society (USWS), a grassroots organization in West Bengal engaging in micro-credit loans, health promotion and education. The project benefitted more than 200 children enrolled yearly at USWS kindergartens and the future cohorts of students.


Singapore Volunteers Overseas (SVO) Specialist
Team Emergency Paediatric Care Project, Cambodia

Feb 2004 – Nov 2007
Using the Training-of-Trainers approach, the medical team from KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital helped to train their counterparts from Cambodia’s National Paediatric Hospital in areas such as assessment and management of emergency medical conditions like coma, head injuries, poisoning, infectious outbreaks and such. The training benefitted more than 1,000 critically ill children being treated annually at the hospital.


Singapore Volunteers Overseas Pro-DESKTOP
Workshop, Cambodia

Oct 2006 – Jun 2007
A team of four volunteers from Singapore fielded by the Singapore International Foundation taught a design software, ProDESKTOP, to more than 20 children and five staff at Hope Village in Prey Veng, Cambodia. The purpose was to train them in the fundamentals of design and technology, in order to enhance their creativity and confidence while improving their prospects to find jobs.


Singapore Volunteers Overseas Specialist Team
Early Childhood Education & Development Project,

Apr 2005 – Mar 2007
In collaboration with Myanmar’s Department of Social Welfare at the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement, Singapore International Foundation fielded a Singapore team of early childhood educators and trainers from the Regional Training and Resource Centre in Early Childhood Education, Asia, to provide training to some 70 senior early childhood education trainers from government agencies and NGOs in Upper and Lower Myanmar.

The training enhanced their skills and knowledge in the principles of early childhood care and development and in the designing and implementation of an integrated early childhood education curriculum in schools.


Special Education In-field Singapore Volunteers
Overseas, Cambodia

Sept 2005 – Dec 2006
Funds raised from the annual Metro For Children charity drive enabled the Singapore International Foundation to place a special education teacher who served at Cambodia’s Centre for Child and Adolescent Mental Health (CCAMH) for more than a year, helping to develop and implement systems and procedures for effective clinical and community-based services for children with multiple disabilities.


Singapore Volunteers Overseas Specialist Team
Maternal & Child Health Nutrition, Vientiane, Laos

Dec 2005 – Nov 2006
Under this project, the Singapore International Foundation fielded a team of medical professionals (doctors, nurses, nutritionists) from Singhealth and National Healthcare Group as well as polytechnic lecturers, who helped to train more than 100 doctors and nurses from 16 hospitals in Vientiane in nutritional knowledge for mothers and babies and teaching pedagogy.

Following the successful completion of the project, the participants implemented new health measures in their work processes such as developing a training manual in both Lao and English to train other medical staff, and using new resources like health booklets, food models and gestational discs.


In-field Singapore Volunteers Overseas, Sanlaap,

Mar-Aug 2006
In partnership with Sanlaap, an organisation which works with children who have been trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation, this project enabled the Singapore International Foundation to field a Singapore volunteer to conduct a series of training workshops for the staff at Sanlaap. The volunteer also helped to set up a resource centre and developed a comprehensive youth leadership manual, which was translated in Bengali and Hindi, increasing its benefits to not just the centre’s staff but to the  staff of other local NGOs in India.


TheatreWorks Arts Education Project, Luang
Prabang, Laos

Mar-Dec 2004
This project, organised by TheatreWorks Singapore, exposed at least 400 students to the art of Pharak Pharam (Laotian Ramayana), guided by the artistes of the Royal Ballet Theatre, by carrying out arts education programmes, and trained teachers in using arts as a tool when conducting lessons.



TheatreWorks Youth Exchange, Luang Prabang,

Mar-Dec 2004
TheatreWorks Singapore began a dialogue between the youths of Singapore and those from Luang Prabang through this project.

Twenty-four Singapore youths from different creative disciplines interacted with Luang Prabang youths and three artist-trainers from Singapore conducted workshops for the Laotian youths on Music, Dance, Theatre and Video/Film-making. In addition, Laotian partner organisation, the Children Cultural Centre of Laos, was equipped with additional skills to initiate and manage exchanges and dialogues with international artists and organisations.


Character Formation Project in COS-Immanuel
Children Village, Cambodia

Aug 2004
COS-Immanuel is a children’s home benefiting 121 orphans and abandoned children from ages 6 to 18. The main objective of the project was to impart quality character values to these children in their formative years.

It enabled the children to have a positive influence among their peers and community as well as geting them ready to be able to make contributions to their society. The key emphasis was the internalisation of each value taught.

A core group of volunteers from Singapore committed themselves to teaching nine character values. The Singapore volunteers also trained six coaches and six assistant coaches in another 12 character values for them to continue the teaching character values to the children.


NUS Volunteers Action Committee Overseas Service
Basic Health Education & First Aid Training, Myanmar

Jun 2004
Project Letpabya was an overseas community based project set up in 2002 by NUS Volunteers Action Committee Overseas Service, National University of Singapore. The main objectives included the provision of essential medical supplies and the initiation of education and healthcare programmes in Letpabya Village in the Kyaukpadaung Township.

The benefits of the project included 1) the education of about 1,000 students who study at the local schools in Letpabya, 2) the training 20 teachers of the schools to empower them to teach future batches of children, 3) the training of five midwives who are stationed at various parts of the village to help them acquire additional skills and knowledge in order to better serve the community, and 4) the education of mothers to ensure that the relevant health education messages can be enforced at home.


ITE-IT Project, Cambodia
Jun 2004
The Institute of Technical Education (ITE) formed a team of volunteers comprising of two teachers & 26 students to provide IT installation and training to four high schools in Phnom Penh. The aim was to promote IT literacy among high schools in Cambodia (with the installation of 80 computers) and train the teachers in both PC hardware troubleshooting and Microsoft Office Applications. The project benefited close to 4,000 high-school students.


Raffles Junior College Creative Science Project, Laos
Apr 2004
A team of three teachers from Raffles Junior College provided assistance to a Laotian NGO PADETC on a Quality School Project.

The project aimed to provide training to Laotian School Inspectors from the Education Ministry, elementary school teachers and PADETC staff in student-centered, activities-based teaching. RJC also assisted in drawing up new lesson plans based on this approach and conducted sample classes as demonstrations. It managed to successfully train four school teachers, five school inspectors and nine PADETC staff.


Mith Samlanh Friends, Cambodia
2002 - 2003
Metro For Children, in collaboration with the Singapore International Foundation, worked with Raffles Junior College students to help Mith Samlanh Friends, a Khmer organisation reaching out to street children, with a host of structural upgrading activities like building toilets, refurbishing classrooms, kitchen, canteen, play areas, clinics and training centres.

The improved environment has helped to create a more conducive and welcoming environment for over 1,500 children who benefit from Mith Samlanh’s services each day.


Overseas Service Learning Trips

Fundraising at Metro stores by PJC Students
Since embarking with Pioneer Junior College 5 years ago, Pioneers have willingly sacrificed part of their year-end holidays each year to participate in the Metro For Children fundraising project to help raise funds for needy children in Cambodia and Indonesia.

The students manned the donation booths, photo booth, sculpted and sold balloons over a 24 days period. Part of the funds raised from the fundraising initiative were donated to PJC to enable the school to send a team of students for overseas community involvement projects.

Overseas Service Learning trip to Bintan, Indonesia
31 May – 4 Jun 2010
The recommended benefactor country for 2010 was Indonesia. The trip to Bintan, Indonesia, for 13 students and 2 staff from Pioneer Junior College, from 31 May to 4 June 2010, was funded from the fund-raising completed in Dec 2009.

During this capacity building and community service trip, the team improved the infrastructure of Panti Asuhan Hidayatullah, an orphanage, through building concrete steps leading to the study block of the orphanage and planting fruit trees.  The team also imparted soft skills to the orphans, teaching the latter English and basic knowledge on hygiene such as proper hand washing techniques. Through the planning and execution of the programme, our students honed their leadership skills and cultivated empathy towards the less privileged.

Overseas Service Learning to Phnom Penh,
24-29 Nov 2009
Thirty-three students, three teachers and a Vice-Principal from Pioneer Junior College visited Kolap4, an orphanage in Cambodia, from 24th to 29th November 2009.

The students prepared simple interactive classes and were reciprocated by very responsive orphans who participated enthusiastically. In the kitchen, Pioneer students assisted in knocking down walls to clearing debris to refurbish the place. The preparation, interactions and sacrifices taught the students not take things for granted. The friendship and bond they had with the team and the orphans in Cambodia was priceless.

Overseas Service Learning to Phnom Penh,
28 May – 3 Jun 2008
Forty-nine students and five teachers embarked on a journey to help the needy children in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, from 28 May to 3 June 2008.

The students and teachers were split into three teams, working in different project sites, Kolap4 Orphanage, the Centre for Child and Adolescent Mental Health (CCAMH) and The Missionaries of Charity. Fully aware of the psychological impact of colours on moods, feelings and the health of human beings, the students painted colourful murals on the wall at Kolap4 Orphanage and transformed the CCAMH’s pedestrian landscape into a colourful milieu.

At the Missionaries of Charity, the students helped the nuns with chores and delighted the children by setting up an inflatable wading pool. At each of these project sites, the students conducted educational activities for the Cambodian children. The first-hand experience of living with Cambodian children was a life-changing event for them. After returning, the students and teachers were determined to lead others to reach out and touch lives.

Overseas Service Learning to Phnom Penh,
4 – 10 Mar 2007
This trip to Phnom Penh, Cambodia, for 24 students and 4 staff from Pioneer Junior College, from 4 to 10 March 2007 was funded from the fund-raising completed in Dec 2006. The team worked with MTI in Cambodia at Chbar Ampou Primary School. The team refurbished the primary school, giving it a fresh coat of paint and cleaned up the library. The students also taught Maths, English and Handicraft at the primary school and conducted first aid in slum areas. Learning to react to unforeseen circumstances honed the students’ leadership and decision-making skills. 

Your Donations

Enriching lives with positive contributions to our community and environment is something that we at Metro place great importance on. It is one of the five principles of our mission statement.

We would like to help build stronger local communities and make an effort to minimise our environmental footprint, to create a great workplace, to promote diversity and to be responsive to needy children in Asia.

Working with communities for sustained development, Singapore International Foundation (SIF) has been our core partner since the inception of ‘Metro for Children’ in 2001.

In SIF, Metro has found a like-minded partner who shares our commitment towards the betterment of lives in developing communities around Asia. Our fundraising initiative has over the years allowed skilled Singaporean volunteers overseas to share knowledge, skills and resources to help improve and create positive impact on the well-being of communities and children in need.

Together, we identify areas for improvement and implement changes that aim to result in tangible progress in the long run.

A Big Thank You 2012 | A Big Thank You 2013

The Metro Green Project

At Metro, we actively aim to enrich community lives at home and abroad through its corporate social responsibility programme.

In our effort to promote and support global green efforts, we began issuing eco-friendly reusable bags since 2004. Metro became the first departmental store to work with our shoppers to create a more caring and sustainable environment through Bring Your Own Bag (BYOBD) movement at all our 3 stores in August 2008.

In 2005, Metro also became the first departmental store to launch the recyclable electronic gift card as an alternative gifting solution to traditional paper gift voucher.

As climate change becomes real, the need to save our planet becomes greater than ever. At Metro, we aim to reduce our carbon footprint. And this vision led to the Metro Green Project.

Be Part of The Metro Green Project Today
Help us cut down on the use of plastic bags. Because the less plastic bags we use, the less pollution we'll contribute, and the less natural resources we'll deplete - and, the more of the earth we'll save.

Give Our Planet a Promising Future
So the next time you go shopping at Metro, make a green choice: only ask for a plastic bag if you really need one. Together, we can give our planet a promising future.