Craft store Spotlight opens second outlet at Westgate

Shoppers at Spotlight's Westgate store yesterday. Nearly 300 shoppers queued outside the store ahead of its opening at 10am.
Shoppers at Spotlight's Westgate store yesterday. Nearly 300 shoppers queued outside the store ahead of its opening at 10am.ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

Australian retailer opens another shop since its first in Orchard in 1995

Teacher Cecelia Anthony has spent the last 20 years travelling to town from her Jurong home every time she needed to shop at craft store Spotlight.

So it came as a relief yesterday when the Australian brand - which sells everything from homeware to crochet gingerbread houses - opened its second Singapore store in her neighbourhood.

The first Spotlight store opened in 1995 at Orchard Point before moving to its 26,000 sq ft premises at Plaza Singapura in 2003. The second outlet is situated at Westgate shopping mall and spans 16,000 sq ft.

Ms Anthony, 52, was one of the shoppers who visited the store on its opening day yesterday. Nearly 300 shoppers queued outside the store ahead of its opening at 10am.

"This shop has everything under one roof. I used to go to the other store but gave up because it's too far away for me," she said.

Executive deputy chairman of Spotlight Group Zac Fried said that more Singaporeans are interested in art and craft now compared with more than 20 years ago.

"Back then, we were told nobody in Singapore sews or does art and craft," he said. "We did find people who did it, but didn't know where to get materials from. But now, more people are definitely doing art and craft and Do-It-Yourself (DIY) hobbies."

MORE PICKING UP ART AND CRAFT

Back then, we were told nobody in Singapore sews or does art and craft. We did find people who did it, but didn't know where to get materials from But now, more people are definitely doing art and craft and Do-It-Yourself hobbies.

SPOTLIGHT GROUP EXECUTIVE DEPUTY CHAIRMAN ZAC FRIED, on the growing interest of Singaporeans in art and craft.

According to the Singapore Cultural Statistics 2017 by the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, the total nominal value-add of the fine art, crafts and collectibles segment here grew from $121 million in 2010 to $135 million in 2014.

Mr Fried added that DIY and art and craft might have gained newfound popularity because of the focus on creativity, especially in education. It might also be a reaction to technology, where people want a hobby that gives them more satisfaction.

"At first everyone was on their electronic devices, but now I think people realise they need other things too," he said. "We all feel good when we make something of our own. People like to make their own things because it's satisfying."

For example, people still knit even though they can easily buy clothes in stores. "They like that feeling of ownership. It's about creating something for yourself," Mr Fried added.

Spotlight has a corner for children to do art and craft activities with their families.

Ms Su Ng, a housewife in her 40s, said: "Kids in school are now taught to do a lot of craft work. It makes them more aware of art and craft from a young age."

Her two children, aged seven and 11, enjoy buying slime and glitter glue from Spotlight.

"I like to knit and crochet but it's usually hard to find the variety of yarn and needles that Spotlight has," she said. "In Singapore, it's not easy to find such things so it's good this (store) has opened."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on November 11, 2018, with the headline 'Craft store Spotlight opens second outlet at Westgate'. Print Edition | Subscribe