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Thread: More malls than shoppers?

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    Default More malls than shoppers?


    March 15, 2009 Sunday

    [B][SIZE=5]More malls than shoppers?[/SIZE][/B]

    [B]To outdo the competition, new malls are churning out fresh ideas such as concept dining and eco-friendly themes[/B]

    By Cara Van Miriah

    [SIZE=1]Will upcoming [email protected]'s concept dining at Discovery Walk, with its mix of restaurants, cafes and bars, be a hit? -- PHOTOS: LENDLEASE, ASIAMALLS ANAGEMENT, JACK INVESTMENT, FAR EAST ORGANIZATION, CDL, FAR EAST ORGANIZATION, CDI, MANDARIN GALLERY, ORCHARD TURN DEVELOPMENTS, PARAGON[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=1]With its $45-million revamp, Paragon is all spruced up with an eye-catching 3-D facade, multiple pop-out glass panels and multi-faceted aluminium panels.[/SIZE]

    Seven new malls will spring up all over Singapore, from Tampines to Orchard Road, this year and next. They will add more than 5 million sq ft of retail space - the equivalent of five VivoCity malls.

    Singapore's nation of shopaholics would normally rise to the challenge, and then some. But now the call of the mall is muted for many, as the economic slowdown makes shoppers count every penny. The number of tourists has also been falling.

    But the new malls are coming up with ways to wow customers. Retailers and developers are wooing shoppers with attractions ranging from brand-name duplex boutiques and new concept stores to rooftop- garden dining and eco-friendly themes.

    Over at Tampines 1, which opens next month, there will be a valet service, for example. It will also probably be the first suburban mall to feature double-storey duplexes that will house fashion brands Topman and Esprit, and eateries such as Sushi Tei.

    Other upcoming malls outside the Orchard belt are Iluma at Bugis, Marina Sands' Marina Bay Shoppes and City Square Mall at Kitchener Road.

    Orchard Road alone will see 1.7 million sq ft of new retail space, according to the Orchard Road Business Association (Orba).

    The three 'biggies' opening this year are Ion Orchard at Orchard Turn, Orchard Central and [email protected]

    The retail space figure includes Mandarin Gallery at Meritus Mandarin Singapore, now undergoing an expansion.

    Each mall is keen to stand out. A spokesman for Mandarin Gallery, for example, says: 'The Gallery has an intimate size and is focused on its core customer base of the affluent and well-travelled.'

    She notes that 'the larger malls, spanning 200,000 to 660,000 sq ft, cater to the masses'.

    Mid-priced mall Orchard Central near Somerset MRT Station is going big on food when it opens in the middle of the year. It will be the first new mall to be built from scratch in Orchard Road since The Heeren Shops opened in 1996, says Orba.

    Twenty-one of the 116 tenants it has so far signed on are food and beverage outlets. Its 24-hour rooftop garden with a street view of Orchard Road will have two eateries including the Nuoc Vietnamese restaurant.

    Despite the recession, Mr Ashok Melwani, managing director of Unos, the firm that runs Nuoc, is confident his 'mid- priced menu and good food in an alfresco setting' will appeal to families.

    But these malls could open with empty units. Mandarin Gallery, which will open in the last quarter of this year, has secured 70 per cent occupancy.

    A spokesman for Orchard Central says the mall is 65 per cent leased. Ion Orchard, which will open by mid-year, declined to reveal details.

    Mr Michael Kenderes, development director of Lend Lease Retail, which is building [email protected], says: 'We are facing one of the most challenging retail business environments. But there is still a demand for premium sustainable retail centres that offer a strong return.' [email protected], which opens in November, is more than 65 per cent leased.

    Also optimistic is luxury fashion chain Club 21. Its upcoming flagship stores at Ion Orchard include Giorgio Armani and Marc Jacobs, and Marc by Marc Jacobs and Emporio Armani at Mandarin Gallery.

    Its spokesman says: 'Our business strategy includes the expansion of fast-growing brands. The prominent streetfront positioning will give us a stronger competitive advantage.'

    Depending on location and store unit, says Mr Danny Yeo, deputy managing director of Knight Frank, average monthly retail rental would have held steady or fallen by 5 to 15 per cent compared to six months ago. It now ranges from $15 to $40 psf.

    Ms Letty Lee, director of retail services at CB Richard Ellis, says retailers need to develop schemes to attract local dollar, such as absorbing GST and giving out cash vouchers.

    One such mall is The Heeren Shops. Marketing director C.S. Low says the mall is running a Eat, Shop N' Save campaign to encourage sales. For every $28 spent, shoppers get a $10 cash voucher.

    Despite the weak consumer sentiment, many shoppers are looking forward to the new malls. Graphic designer Sharon Lim-Ho, 32, says: 'With the new malls, I will visit Orchard Road more frequently. But I will spend on items that I need or buy a dress instead of two from a new label.'

    [EMAIL="[email protected]"][email protected][/EMAIL]
    Last edited by mr funny; 15th March 2009 at 12:42 PM.

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    [B][SIZE=5]Opening doors[/SIZE][/B]

    [B]TAMPINES 1 [/B]

    [B]Where:[/B] 10 Tampines Central 1, next to Tampines MRT Station
    [B]What: [/B]Trendy suburban mall with international brands, such as Uniqlo - dubbed the Japanese Giordano - French boutique Promod, Spanish apparel store Springfield and Australian accessory store Diva, opening in the heartland for the first time
    [B]Expect:[/B] Five spectacular double-storey duplexes housing fashion brands such as Topshop and Esprit, as well as eateries such as Sushi Tei, F.I.S.H by Fish & Co and Thai Express Bistro
    [B]Opens:[/B] Next month

    [B]ILUMA [/B]

    [B]Where: [/B]Opposite Bugis Junction
    [B]What:[/B] A six-storey mall, touted as the Urban Entertainment Centre, marrying arts, entertainment and cultural activities
    [B]Expect: [/B]An open space on the rooftop for performances, plus an eight-hall cinema on the fifth floor with 1,400 seats
    [B]Opens:[/B] In the coming months


    [B]Where:[/B] 181 Orchard Road, near Somerset MRT Station
    [B]Concept:[/B] Singapore's first 'vertical mall' at 12 storeys, with super-long escalators whisking pedestrians from street level to the different floors
    [B]Expect: [/B]Stylish dining at eateries located in sheltered verandahs on the second, fourth, seventh and eighth levels. Take in Orchard Road from the 24-hour rooftop garden
    [B]Opens: [/B]Middle of this year


    [B]Where: [/B]1 Orchard Turn, above Orchard MRT Station
    [B]What:[/B] Swanky mall that will house luxury fashion brands
    [B]Expect: [/B]Italian fashion labels Dolce & Gabbana, Prada, Giorgio Armani and Dsquared2, plus French jewellery brand Korloff and art gallery Opera Gallery. Six duplexes on the street-front and three inside with brands such as Zara, Uniqlo, Topshop and Topman
    [B]Opens:[/B] Middle of the year

    [B] [email protected] [/B]

    [B]Where:[/B] Above Somerset MRT Station
    [B] What: [/B] Boutique mall offering mid-range fashion, plus food and beverage outlets
    [B]Expect: [/B] New concepts from Cold Storage and foodcourt chain Food Republic. One of the dining zones, Discovery Walk, will have a mix of cafes and bars
    [B] Opens: [/B] November


    [B] Where: [/B] Kitchener Road, near Farrer Park MRT Station
    [B] What: [/B] Touted as Singapore's first eco-friendly mall with eco-restrooms that save water and electricity Expect: Dedicated checkout lanes for shoppers with reusable bags at supermarket chain FairPrice. Sales staff at Best Denki who can advise on energy-efficient appliances. A corner in Metro for organic merchandise
    [B] Opens:[/B] Fourth quarter of this year


    [B]Where: [/B] Meritus Mandarin Singapore hotel in Orchard Road
    [B]What:[/B] A revamped luxury mall with standalone concept stores such as Swiss watchmaker Bell & Ross, French luggage brand Delsey, Ben Wu boutique and French jeweller Mauboussin
    [B] Expect: [/B] Five double-storey duplexes housing labels such as Emporio Armani and Montblanc. New brands include Milan-based apparel brand Henry Cotton's, British eco shoe label Terra Plana, high-end Swiss watchmaker FP Journe and Y3, a street-chic collection by Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto
    [B] Opens: [/B] Fourth quarter of this year

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    [/B] March 14, 2009 Saturday
    [SIZE=5]Old malls, new look[/SIZE][/B]

    New malls may be springing up along Orchard Road this year, but old favourites are sprucing up their act. Paragon shopping centre has undergone a $45-million revamp, for example. The 10-year-old mall, known for its luxury goods, now sports a three-dimensional facade with multiple pop-out glass panels and multi-faceted aluminium panels.

    And store fronts there are set to shine further. Five designer stores - Salvatore Ferragamo, Prada, Tod's, Miu Miu and Gucci - will be converted into double-storey duplexes, with Gucci enjoying a fivestorey-high facade facing Orchard Road.

    These changes are expected to be completed by the third quarter of next year. Tod's leads the pack as it will unveil its duplex next month.

    Paragon's general manager, Ms Linda Kwan, says the new design was prompted partly by luxury retailers looking for space to expand and do something different. In May, Jimmy Choo will open its flagship store in the mall and Coach is set to do the same in November.

    Ms Kwan says: 'Paragon has secured stronger positioning as an upscale shopping mall with its diverse mix of international brands.'

    Another shopping destination, Meritus Mandarin hotel's retail arcade, Mandarin Gallery, is undergoing a $200-million expansion and will reopen by the fourth quarter of this year. The mall will dazzle with duplex boutiques that have floor-to- ceiling windows lining the building facade.

    Two other retail spaces getting a new look this year are The Heeren Shops and Park Hotel Orchard.

    The open-air area in front of The Heeren will make way for a 15m, single-storey glass structure. McDonald's and New York New York cafe are among the eateries to be housed in it.

    At Park Hotel Orchard, some tenants such as Starbucks have moved out. Replacing them are high-end boutiques which will take up 7,710 sq m in its retail podium.

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