Orchard Road: From shopping to lifestyle

We thank everyone for their views on the future of Orchard Road.

Today's consumers seek lifestyle and leisure experiences beyond mere retail transactions and like other iconic shopping areas, Orchard Road must reinvent itself and evolve to stay relevant.

In our consultations with precinct stakeholders, tourists and residents, all agreed that Orchard Road must transform from a shopping street into an integrated lifestyle and leisure precinct.

It needs to offer quality and immersive experiences such as urban attractions, new lifestyle concepts, great dining and shopping options, and activities through which brands can engage deeply with consumers.

All these cannot be easily replicated by e-commerce and suburban malls, and will give people added reasons to visit Orchard Road.

To support these efforts, we are considering an array of ideas.

We are studying innovative uses for available land parcels along Orchard Road to develop a range of possible new concepts and points of interest.

We are also working with precinct stakeholders to enhance the street-level pedestrian experience with more programmes and activities. We will continue to improve the programming mix along Orchard Road through events like "Christmas on A Great Street", a perennial favourite among visitors and residents alike.

We are strengthening Singaporean flavours to give Orchard Road a more distinctive identity.

For example, the site near the junction of Orchard Road and Cairnhill Road will profile home-grown designs and brands, and provide a unique and differentiated retail experience.

The retail landscape has changed radically across the world. To remain profitable, retailers must rethink their business models and adapt to the evolving demands of consumers and market disruptions. Flagship stores like Victoria's Secret and Apple are increasingly differentiating themselves by providing localised workshops and exclusive products. Other innovative stakeholders are also introducing more food and beverage and lifestyle events.

Some writers have commented that other Asian cities have overtaken Orchard Road's popularity as the region's emporium for discounted fashion and electronic goods. It is thus important to differentiate Orchard Road not by price, but through unique experiences.

Transforming Orchard Road requires collaboration between the Government, the private sector and the public. We have set out some preliminary plans and continue to welcome feedback.

Lionel Yeo

Chief Executive
Singapore Tourism Board

Ng Lang

Chief Executive Officer
Urban Redevelopment Authority

Mark Shaw

Chairman
Orchard Road Business Association

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 02, 2017, with the headline 'Orchard Road: From shopping to lifestyle'. Print Edition | Subscribe