Orchard Road needs to stay relevant, given that cities in Malaysia offer the same retail environment but with a lower price tag (Orchard Road set to be transformed; Dec 15).
Online shopping has overtaken the current retail climate.
It allows more people to save time as they no longer need to patronise physical stores and appears more attractive due to the many discounts and freebies offered. This is something Orchard Road retailers cannot compete with.
Orchard Road shops need to build a strong reputation for excellent service in sales and after-sales to beat online rivals.
The human factor is a key advantage.
Apart from outstanding service,the Orchard Road Business Association should also transform the strip such that it provides an interactive shopping experience that goes beyond store displays.
Games, lucky draws, live performances and treasure hunts are some possible ways to make shoppers feel that they are getting their money's worth.
Stores in Orchard Road must prevent their performance from declining by investing in such activities that may be able to disrupt the digital retail landscape.
Jeremy Cheong Weng Kee