Orchard Road evolving into lifestyle destination: Experts
Orchard Road evolving into lifestyle destination: Experts. Despite the OG Orchard Point’s impending departure, analysts claim that the Orchard Road shopping district still has its appeal.
Although OG will join other department stores like Robinsons, John Little, and Metro that have left Singapore’s top shopping district in recent years, the experts said the exits are part of Orchard Road’s ongoing transformation into a lifestyle destination, with specialty stores filling the spaces left by retail stalwarts. Department stores often offer breadth, but specialty shops typically have depth in a particular trade. They include companies like Courts, an industry leader in home appliances, whose six-story flagship replaced Robinsons at The Heeren last year, and Decathlon, a French retailer of sporting goods, which will take over Metro’s space at The Centrepoint in 2020.
OG Orchard Point, which closes in October, will be replaced by a local supermarket and fresh food firm with an unknown mega-mart concept store. The immersive area will also have live fish, cuisine, and merchandise. The area’s propensity for customized products for certain consumer categories, according to Adjunct Associate Professor Lynda Wee from the marketing department at Nanyang Business School, is evident in this shift toward speciality stores. “We are constructing unique precincts in order to create offers that are more suited toward consumers. This is in line with the region’s current reputation as a young, exciting, and fun area.” She compared it to the young people’s district of Shibuya in Tokyo.
Orchard Road evolving. The modifications are a part of a larger Orchard Road makeover that government agencies announced in 2019. Somerset will be a zone for youth and entertainment, while Dhoby Ghaut will be a green space with family-friendly attractions. While Tanglin will be a mixed-use neighborhood with options for the arts and artisanal goods, the center of Orchard Road will continue to be the shopping core with luxury and iconic retailers. The process has already begun. The popular hangout for young people *Scape said this week that it would receive a significant makeover and reopen in 2024.
According to experts, specialty stores are also more in tune with what modern consumers demand. “The retail sector requires continuous updating. Consumers of today desire experiences rather than merely products or services “said Ms. Neeta Lachmandas, executive director of the Institute of Service Excellence at Singapore Management University. “New concepts, pop-up events, and market booths all improve this experience because they provide diversity and engagement. With ongoing improvements, Orchard Road will evolve into a destination that locals and tourists want to visit repeatedly.”
The marketing diploma course chair at Temasek Polytechnic’s School of Business, Ms. Maggie Au, had a similar viewpoint. According to Ms. Au, several firms have increased their physical presence by providing products in suburban malls, thus Orchard Road will need to offer more than just shopping to entice local consumers to return. The key to attracting the people back to town will be to have flagship stores that offer things that are exclusive to these retail outlets as well as exciting, one-of-a-kind retail and lifestyle experiences and social events for locals and tourists.
According to some shoppers The Sunday Times spoke with, Orchard Road still has appeal as a convenient meeting place for friends as well as for the sheer number of shops and lifestyle choices it offers. In the west of Singapore, Ms. Venilla Asokan, a social media executive, said, “Suburban malls are better beneficial if I need to go food shopping, or for a quick dinner before heading home.” At Far East Plaza, she had just arrived. However, Orchard Road has a ton of dining and entertainment options, and I can do a ton of things there, including shop, sing along at karaoke, work out at the gym, or simply hang out and people watch.
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