Great Singapore Sale goes digital this year

Annual sale runs from Sept 9 to Oct 10, with deals consolidated on one platform

People rushing in to be among the first shoppers at Robinsons at The Heeren on Black Friday last year. This year's Great Singapore Sale will be a largely virtual event and will feature some 800 brands in its digital debut. Shoppers can go to GoSpree.
People rushing in to be among the first shoppers at Robinsons at The Heeren on Black Friday last year. This year's Great Singapore Sale will be a largely virtual event and will feature some 800 brands in its digital debut. Shoppers can go to GoSpree.sg, which will go live on Tuesday, to check out retailers' offerings. ST FILE PHOTO

For the first time since it started 26 years ago, the Great Singapore Sale (GSS) will be a largely virtual event, with a focus on further helping local retailers go digital.

The annual sale, which will run from Sept 9 to Oct 10, will feature some 800 brands this year.

Touted as Singapore's biggest retail event, the GSS usually runs between June and August.

The move to run the sale as a virtual event comes two months after organisers announced in May that it was cancelling the sale due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Organised by the Singapore Retailers Association (SRA), the sale makes its digital debut as the eGSS: Shop.Win.Experience.

Retailers' offerings will be consolidated on SRA's eGSS GoSpree platform, where shoppers can view these items through virtual and augmented reality tools.

On the platform, shoppers can also play interactive games to win prizes and watch live-streamed discussions on various brands and services, among other activities. They can also download promo codes that can be used for online or in-store purchases.

After browsing the deals on retail and food and beverage items, attractions and hotels on eGSS GoSpree, shoppers will be redirected to the merchants' websites and digital platforms to make their purchases.

SRA executive director Rose Tong said yesterday that the national sale is the only unified marketing and sales event for retailers to leverage.

"Not having the sale, they felt like something was missing and when we decided to take it online, we looked at how it could be different," she said, adding that deals would draw shoppers "despite the gloom and doom during this time".

The eGSS will also encourage retailers to seek innovative ways to reach out to customers, she said.

Referring to an E-Commerce Booster Package launched by Enterprise Singapore in April, Ms Tong added: "We felt it was timely that eGSS takes off in September as retailers would have had some experience going digital and would already be on some e-commerce spaces."

The eGSS is organised in collaboration with the Singapore Furniture Industries Council (SFIC), the Textile and Fashion Federation and - for the first time - the Association of Singapore Attractions (ASA).

Among these partner offerings are virtual furniture showrooms by the SFIC, and special back-of-house experiences and family passes from ASA members.

Local fashion and lifestyle brands will also be spotlighted on online marketplace Oneorchard.store.

Mall operator Frasers Property Retail is the eGSS' partner and will support the sale's various campaign initiatives across 15 malls. It will also extend preferential rates to SRA members when they join the Frasers e-Store.

The eGSS is part of the $45 million nine-month SingapoRediscovers campaign that aims to boost local lifestyle and tourism businesses after half a year of slowed demand.

Shoppers can go to GoSpree.sg, which will go live on Tuesday. The digital platform will house all the event's campaign initiatives and be updated in the coming weeks.

Stores and shoppers told The Straits Times that they welcome the event's digital push.

Fashion designer Michelle Chan, 36, of Weekend Sundries, is considering joining the event as she said it is likely to give her brand more visibility. She added that customers who prefer to look for the brand in-store are now more open to purchasing items online.

Data analyst Serene Chia, 26, hopes to purchase skincare products and active wear during the sale. The frequent online shopper said: "There are more variety, opportunities for customisation and less pressure to make a snap decision."

Physical retail is still important, she said. "Returns (of online purchases) can be a pain and there is a personal touch of service that e-commerce cannot replicate."

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 24, 2020, with the headline Great Singapore Sale goes digital this year. Subscribe