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Thread: More than 2m people have visited VivoCity since Oct 7

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    Default More than 2m people have visited VivoCity since Oct 7

    Published October 28, 2006

    More than 2m people have visited VivoCity since Oct 7

    Opening of the mall is biggest event for S'poreans this year

    TO go by the numbers, the big event in Singapore this year was not the International Monetary Fund meeting or the city-state's first big international art show, but the opening of its largest shopping mall.

    Viva VivoCity: 7 per cent of S'poreans go shopping twice a week or more just for something to do, according to one survey

    Over two million people, equivalent to half the population, have trooped through VivoCity since it opened on Oct 7 - compared with about 20,000 delegates who attended the IMF-World Bank meetings last month and 400,000 visitors for Singapore's first-ever art biennale.

    'Singapore needs more shops, more choice, more places to go to,' said Kerry Chan at the $417 million VivoCity, owned by Singapore's investment firm Temasek Holdings.

    Ms Chan, 26, and her friend Peisi Tan were among 230,000 people to visit VivoCity last Saturday.

    Even at 9.30pm, the mall was packed as hordes of people escaped from the heat and air pollution into an over-airconditioned sanctuary. Mall assistants helped direct shoppers who had lost their way in a space the size of 17 football pitches.

    Outside, workers put the finishing touches to the walkways and flowerbeds, while long queues of exhausted shoppers tried to flag down taxis.

    Singaporeans, like many affluent Asians, count shopping as something of a national sport.

    'Shopping is no trivial pursuit for me. I take it seriously, and am proud to be a mall rat, though there are malls and there are malls,' wrote Sumiko Tan, a Straits Times columnist, on Sunday, adding that she visits her favourite mall at least twice a week.

    'You know you've hit the jackpot when you walk into one and you feel your heart quickening and your head going dizzy at the thought of the experience ahead. It's a bit like falling in love, and I got that delicious feeling when I walked into VivoCity.'

    Some 84 per cent of people in the Asia-Pacific go shopping once a month or more for 'something to do' or for entertainment, even if they don't need to buy anything, according to an AC Nielsen survey, compared with a global average of 74 per cent.

    The survey found that 7 per cent of Singaporeans go shopping twice a week or more just for something to do, ranking third after Hongkongers (17 per cent) and Thais (9 per cent).

    Economists say that generous government cash hand-outs before the May 6 general election and a strong jobs market have helped boost spending at malls such as VivoCity, which will ultimately house more than 300 shops.

    The VivoCity mall rat 'is a close cousin of the lemming' and 'known for its herd mentality', wrote columnist Jaime Ee in The Business Times yesterday.

    Unlike lemmings, though, the VivoCity mall rat looks set to thrive rather than suffer a major population crash. 'A lot of these shopping malls have become entertainment centres in themselves with movies, skating rinks and all kinds of shops and restaurants,' said Khiem Do, head of Baring Asset Management's Asian multi asset group in Hong Kong, whose investments include malls and real estate investment trusts.

    'Asian cities are getting more crowded, people lack space at home. These malls have space where people can walk around; they are air-conditioned. It's become an enduring theme in Asia.' - Reuters

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    Default Re: More than 2m people have visited VivoCity since Oct 7

    How is CK Tang doing at Vivocity?


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