Still the street with the richest pickings

Orchard Road may have lost some of its glitz, but the famed tree-lined retail strip, continues to offer one of the world's premier shopping experiences.
Orchard Road may have lost some of its glitz, but the famed tree-lined retail strip, continues to offer one of the world's premier shopping experiences.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

Orchard Road might have lost some glitz, but it is still the street that draws the top names in retail and F&B offerings

The nutmeg and fruit orchards that gave Orchard Road its name have long gone but Singapore's famed tree-lined retail strip continues to offer one of the world's premier shopping experiences.

Rivals like Marina Bay have emerged and suburban malls might be enticing more shoppers, but Orchard Road has retained its status as the place to see and be seen in Singapore, a bustling promenade that can still thrill even the most jaded travellers - locals and foreigners alike. From global brands to the boutique and chic, Orchard Road has the lot: a splashy, vibrant mix of glitzy malls, old-school merchants, buskers, ice-cream hawkers and and cafes and restaurants catering to every taste.

Orchard Road has always been an important street: It connected the residential area of Tanglin to the business and commercial engine room of Raffles Place and High Street. But in the 1950s, it was short on glamour, with the sprawling Tai Shan Ting cemetery including the site where the current Ngee Ann City stands.

But the founder of the department store C.K. Tang, now known as Tangs department store, Mr Tang Choon Keng, declared that it had promise.

Orchard Road started its transformation soon after that, after the Government zoned the area for retail use and the cemetery land was cleared.


Who owns what

The arrival of the MRT in the 1980s also helped bring the shoppers to Orchard Road.

On this page, The Straits Times presents Orchard Road in a detailed artwork that outlines the glamo-rous strip from one end to the other, a historic stretch that is dotted with stalwarts such as Shaw Centre, Tangs@Tang Plaza and Ngee Ann City.

 
 
 

The Orchard Road Business Association notes that Orchard Road has more than 40 malls, six department stores and more than 5,000 retail and food and beverage offerings. There are more on the way as well, with 268 Orchard Road nearly completed.

We track the road's who's who, how long they have owned their street-side assets, the tallest buildings on the strip and familiar Singapore names.

You can also check out our online interactive graphic for more details about each building.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 15, 2015, with the headline 'Still the street with the richest pickings'. Print Edition | Subscribe