Shop for free in ST contests

The Metro contest will be held at its store at The Centrepoint (left) on June 23.
The Metro contest will be held at its store at The Centrepoint on June 23.ST FILE PHOTO

The Straits Times is organising two shopping competitions during the Great Singapore Sale with Metro and Harvey Norman

A newly launched competition will put the bargain-hunting skills of shoppers here to the test.

The Straits Times-GSS Fantasy Shopping challenge, organised by The Straits Times in partnership with department store Metro and furniture retail chain Harvey Norman, will pitch contestants against one another in a shopping competition.

There are two contests, both held during the Great Singapore Sale (GSS) this year - the first one at Metro's store at The Centrepoint on June 23; and the second at Harvey Norman's new factory outlet at Viva Business Park on July 11.

Participating teams will be allotted a virtual sum of money and half an hour to collect the best deals.

The winner, who chalks up the highest percentage of discounts, will walk away with the entire haul. The other two teams will be given $200 worth of shopping vouchers each.

There will be three one-person teams, each given $1,000 to spend, for the contest at Metro. At Harvey Norman, participants will compete in pairs, each given $2,000 to spend, with three teams in total.

The catch? Shoppers cannot buy two of the same item and each product has to be from a different department within the store.

Be sure to also have a calculator on hand, as there is a penalty if the basket of goods exceeds the sum of money allotted. Two percentage points will be deducted from the final score per $50 exceeded.

The contest, say the two retailers, is a chance to offer sale lovers the thrilling possibility of shopping for free.

Mr Erwin Oei, head of business analytics, customer relationship management and marketing and merchandise controller at Metro, says: "We wanted to drum up excitement for the Great Singapore Sale, show that it can still be exciting and remains relevant with all the great savings."

The GSS, held between June 9 and Aug 13 this year, is in its 24th run.

This year, to help pull in tech-savvy shoppers and give smaller stores in the heartland a leg up, its organisers launched a new mobile app, Go Spree, on which shoppers can get access to e-coupons and flash deals.

General manager of marketing communications at Harvey Norman, Ms Eloise Sim, says this contest will appeal to smart and savvy shoppers.

"It is not just about getting whatever you want, but also about smart shopping and getting the best savings," she says.

The Harvey Norman spree will take place at the retailer's upcoming 38,500 sq ft factory outlet, a first for the store, which is opening next month at Viva Business Park in Chai Chee Road.

Eager bargain hunters are excited.

Singaporean Woon Wee Min, 42, who plans to register for the contest, says he wants to join for the chance to snag some free goods.

The finance and human resources manager says: "It's a good chance to get some toys for my children and clothes for my wife."

The father-of-two already has a plan to put into action should he be picked. For one, he will scour the stores ahead of time.

"For this kind of thing, you definitely have to do a recce trip. I would go down to the store beforehand to do some research and make some calculations.

"But it's really more about the fun factor. It is exciting."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 12, 2017, with the headline 'Shop for free in ST contests'. Print Edition | Subscribe