SINGAPORE - This year's Great Singapore Sale, which started on Friday (June 3), will run for a longer period - 10 weeks, up from eight for the past 12 years - and have a new official card, UnionPay International.
The extension of the sale period is to better cater to tourists from Asia-Pacific countries, including China, whose summer holidays fall in the June to August period, said the Singapore Retailers Association (SRA), the organiser of the GSS.
Here are five things to know about the sale:
1. There are no "official" participants of the GSS, as merchants do not need to register formally or sign up with the SRA to take part. All merchants who offer special deals during the sale period are considered GSS participants.
2. The SRA does not determine the discounts or promotions that retailers offer. These are left entirely to the businesses.
3. Retailers do not have to hold sales for the entire GSS period. Those which started their GSS sale before June 3 this year include Robinsons, Metro and Mothercare.
4. Businesses do not have to use the GSS logo or event name to be part of the sale. This is left to the businesses to decide according to their respective operating guidelines and marketing strategies.
5. As the GSS ran from end-May to end-July from 2004 to 2015, the retail sales index for June and July was used as a performance indicator. According to the Ministry of Trade and Industry's Department of Statistics, total retail sales (including motor vehicles) for June and July 2015 was estimated at $7 billion, a 6.1 per cent rise over the same periods in 2014.