Add more buzz to the shopping experience

Mall operators here are fortunate - people are still willing to shop in person, and, lamentably, there is little to do here other than shop and eat.

But unless the physical shopping experience bucks up, e-shopping will inexorably supplant it (Retail slump: One Raffles Place is latest to suffer; May 24).

Malls are non-distinctive and monotonous. They carry the same brands and bear a cost disadvantage over online shopping.

Add inclement weather, transport woes and service indifference, and it is no wonder that people are increasingly preferring to shop from the comfort of their homes.

Malls must provide unique eclectic architecture and hold special events. Retailers in malls should stock exclusive merchandise or bespoke customisation.

Pop-up stalls in open atriums and piazzas will definitely add to the bustle and exhilaration by adding variety and flair and reproducing the buzz of street markets.

Singapore's malls won't suffer a sudden death, but unless rental increases slow down, retailers can only capitulate.

The resultant shopping ennui will surely cause a slow and lingering demise of our malls.

Yik Keng Yeong (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 27, 2017, with the headline 'Add more buzz to the shopping experience'. Print Edition | Subscribe