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Retailers face pressure to rejuvenate themselves


Following article from Channel News Asia

SINGAPORE: Retail experts have said the majority of Singapore shoppers are now more discerning but they would not mind paying top dollar for what they want.

And so the pressure is on shopping malls to rejuvenate themselves constantly in order to cater to changing consumer tastes.

Fashion, lifestyle and department store TANGS has been in town for 82 years.

It has stood the test of time by keeping up to date with consumers’ ever-changing preferences.

But it has not been easy as the profile of the typical Singapore shopper has changed drastically over the years.

Foo Tiang Sooi, chief executive officer of TANGS, said: “The Singapore consumer is in many ways very practical and functional. They are quite astute because they do their own homework online, offline, on social media and then they make their own choices.

“We find that increasingly, they are more discerning and they do want value for what they buy. They are not shy to spend more money, but it has to be something that represents value for them.”

For example, Mr Fu said that in recent years, Korean beauty products have been all the rage, and hence, the decision to bring in a leading Korean skincare line.

The store also transformed an entire level to a spa lounge area as it noticed a growing demand among its consumers for such services.

The avid shopper is undoubtedly spoilt for choice at the Orchard Road shopping belt which stretches some 2.2 kilometres. But this also means that retailers face intense pressure to rejuvenate themselves or risk losing their customers, or in a worst-case scenario, be replaced by another retailer.

Thus, shopping zones have emerged along the Orchard Road belt to offer a differentiated experience for shoppers across all age groups.

Steven Goh, executive director of the Orchard Road Business Association, elaborated: “For example, the Somerset zone tends to attract younger professionals because of brands like Forever 21, H&M, Uniqlo, And if you are within the Orchard Zone area, you have Paragon, ION or Ngee Ann City which is more high end.

“So the kind of shopper looking for the kind of experience is different depending on which stretch of Orchard Road they are in.”

While Orchard Road faces competition from other shopping haunts like Raffles City or The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, the real threat is online shopping.

Mr Goh said: “That definitely has taken away quite a big chunk of business from the brick-and-mortar shopping models. I think the retailer of today not only has to do business within the shop but at the same time, also invest a lot of money in cyberspace to reach out to consumers online.”

Mr Goh added that to stay ahead of the curve, retailers also need a good grasp of global fashion trends.

Thus, the Global Department Store Summit, which will be held in Singapore next month, is timely as it will provide a platform for major international retailers to discuss business strategies in order to deliver growth and sustainable profit.”

Source from Channel News Asia




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