More traffic at Capitol Piazza

Capitol Piazza tenants are seeing higher footfall with more shops opening in the mall.
Capitol Piazza tenants are seeing higher footfall with more shops opening in the mall.ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN

When Capitol Piazza at Stamford Road opened in March, customer traffic was slow.

This in spite of the mall having tenants that were new to the market, or those that were opening their first standalone stores.

For example, Finnish fashion brand Marimekko, known for its brightly coloured floral prints, opened its first store in Singapore there. The mall is also home to well-known food-and-beverage brands from overseas, such as Parisian tea salon Angelina.

A salesgirl at The Body Shop, who declined to be named, said: "On weekdays, it was really quiet, you wouldn't see many people." The store opened early last month.

Mr Richard Chua, 38, director of Chinese restaurant Four Seasons, says: "It was quite bad as there were renovations here and there."

As recently as three weeks ago, traffic was still erratic. However, things have started to pick up in recent weeks. Tenants say the situation is improving because more stores and F&B outlets have opened and the landlord has been actively promoting the mall. New tenants that have opened include Italian restaurant Equilibrium.

The mall is managed by Capitol Singapore and is part of the Capitol Theatre, Capitol Building and Stamford House complex. A spokesman for the mall says it is now 80 per cent occupied. Of these, 70 per cent are fashion and beauty retailers, while the rest are F&B outlets.

Some parts of the mall are still under renovation and Capitol Singapore estimates it will be fully occupied by the end of the year.

To draw traffic, Capitol Singapore has already rolled out three promotions this month. These included a Jubilee Celebration which attracted 4,000 people - the National Day Parade was screened live at the mall's outdoor plaza alongside performances and other activities.

Designer Max Tan, 31, who has his eponymous label there, says: "I think large-scale events like these help create awareness for the mall.

"My staff told me they were very busy that day, introducing the brand to the larger crowd."

When Life visited the mall on the National Day weekend, most of the F&B outlets were at least 75 per cent filled, while the fashion and beauty outlets had a mix of window shoppers and customers making purchases.

Mr Chua, 38, estimates a steady 20 to 30 per cent increase in traffic over the last few weeks.

Mr John Ng, director of Sidefame, which brings in Marimekko, says: "The opening of F&B outlets has drawn people there, which translates to people visiting our stores."

He declined to give sales figures, though.

Mr Tan agrees: "The sales are up to my expectations."

Most tenants are confident that things will only get better.

Mr Vivek Tiwari, 25, director of Spanish shoe brand Carmina, says: "I think, for us especially, the location has helped. We are located at the street front, thus there is a unique shopping experience as you don't get that much in Asia.

"Capitol is also a heritage building and we get a mix of tourists and locals who love its story."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 20, 2015, with the headline 'More traffic at Capitol Piazza'. Print Edition | Subscribe