Five-year high of $2.12b spent during Great Singapore Sale

A woman walking past advertisements for the Great Singapore Sale.
A woman walking past advertisements for the Great Singapore Sale.PHOTO: BERITA HARIAN FILE

SINGAPORE - Despite more people turning to online shopping, shoppers still shelled out a five-year high of $2.12 billion using their MasterCard cards during the Great Singapore Sale this year.

The amount that MasterCard holders spent during the eight-week event, which was held between May 30 and July 26, was 2.2 per cent higher than the figure last year, said the card provider on Monday.

The number of transactions made during the sale between its cardholders and Singapore merchants also grew by 7.3 per cent to hit more than 14.5 million.

The growth was fuelled mainly by tourists,who spent 15.3 per cent more and used their cards 21.8 per cent more than they did last year.

The top five countries where most of these visiting shoppers came from this year remained the same as last year. Australia, Malaysia and China retained the top three positions, while Indonesia overtook Japan to take fourth spot.

Cardholders based here, however, spent slightly less this year than they did last year - 1.41 billion this year, down from $1.46 billion last year - although they made 10.5 million transactions - 2.6 per cent more than last year.

Nonetheless, two-thirds of the spending still came from cardholders based here.

The growth in visitor spending during the Great Singapore Sale shows that the event remains attractive to tourists, Ms Deborah Heng, group head and general manager of MasterCard Singapore noted.

"What's interesting is that this year we are seeing dining places emerge consistently as a top spend category for visitors - an indication that fine dining may be growing in appeal for travellers to Singapore," she added.

Dr Jannie Chan, president of the Singapore Retailers Association, said: "The shopping extravaganza is clearly still a huge draw for locals and tourists alike... With its well-established branding, it has remained an essential pillar in driving spend and generating positive impact on our economy."