Heartland shops in east join GSS

A clothing retailer in Tampines 1 mall having a sale yesterday. But increasingly, heartland shops are also jumping on the bandwagon of the Great Singapore Sale, and offering discounts of up to 50 per cent in the sale which started June 9 and ends Aug
A clothing retailer in Tampines 1 mall having a sale yesterday. But increasingly, heartland shops are also jumping on the bandwagon of the Great Singapore Sale, and offering discounts of up to 50 per cent in the sale which started June 9 and ends Aug 13.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

In the first of a four-part series, The Straits Times looks at what eastern neighbourhood shops have to offer during this year's Great Singapore Sale.

The Great Singapore Sale (GSS) has become known as a time when one can shop for the best deals in Orchard Road but, increasingly, shops in the heartland are also putting out their best wares during this sale season.

A Straits Times check of 30 mom-and-pop shops in Pasir Ris, Tampines, Bedok and Paya Lebar found that about 70 per cent of these smaller retailers are taking part in the GSS.

Retailers across the board, from electronics, homeware and clothing to toys, are offering discounts of up to 50 per cent in the sale, which ends Aug 13.

Kim Poh Optical in Bedok North, for example, has an in-house promotion that allows customers to get spectacles made for just $68 - a 32 per cent discount off its usual price.

Other retailers, such as The Brick Shop in Bedok Mall nearby, have bundle deals like a "buy one and get a second at 50 per cent off" promotion, so shoppers can buy a second item at half its original price.

Many shoppers cited convenience, proximity and the ability of neighbourhood retail outlets to offer competitive discounts, as some of the factors that prompted them to shop in the heartland instead of downtown.

GSS SPURS SALES

The response has been very good... Now there are positive sales margins, where before the GSS, we sometimes had negative sales growth.

MS JAVERIE AMIN, a retail assistant at Cotton On Kids, in Tampines.

"It is definitely more convenient, especially if I want to go home quickly after shopping, and the deals here are quite good, too," said Ms Eleanor Cheong, 51, a secretary who often shops at Tampines Mall.

  • DEALS* FOR SHOPPERS IN THE EAST

  • ASSORTED LEATHER WALLETS

    PRICE: $37.50 (original price: $75)

    WHERE: S.T. Louis

    Tampines 1, #01-46/47

    INFANT TEES (IN A SET OF THREE)

    PRICE: $16.95 (original price: $33.90)

    WHERE: Mothercare

    Tampines Mall , #03-04/05

    BACKPACK IN NAVY BLUE

    PRICE: $15 (original price: $35.90)

    WHERE: Icon - Bags Concept

    Bedok Mall, #B1-08

    ARSENAL FC 16/17 HOME JERSEY

    PRICE: $76.30 (original price: $109)

    WHERE: 12th Man

    One KM Shopping Mall, #B1-04

    BLACK AND DECKER WET AND DRY VACUUM

    PRICE: $55 (original price: $99)

    WHERE: Selffix DIY

    One KM Shopping Mall, #B1-21

    *Prices as at time of publication

Given the current retail slump, heartland retailers are hoping that the GSS period will help boost their takings.

Said Mr Dean Lew, 38, store manager of an electronic gaming store in Bedok: "Customers tend to spend more and we are able to attract more customers during this period."

Ms Javerie Amin, 18, a retail assistant at Cotton On Kids, a children's clothing store, in Tampines, estimated there has been a 40 per cent increase in revenue since the store's sale started a month ago, ahead of the GSS, which began on June 9.

"The response has been very good," she said. "Now there are positive sales margins, where before the GSS, we sometimes had negative sales growth."

The GSS, an annual shopping event, was originally launched in 1994 by then Singapore Tourist Promotion Board to boost retail sales and tourist arrivals to Singapore.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 23, 2017, with the headline 'Heartland shops in east join GSS'. Print Edition | Subscribe