The Great Singapore Sale (GSS) kicked off yesterday with a new mobile app that aims to revitalise the event, after a poor showing last year put its future into question.
Some 100 retailers, food and beverage operators, hotels and attractions are offering 47,000 eCoupons on the GoSpree app, an initiative of the Singapore Retailers Association (SRA), with more to be added in the coming weeks.
Speaking at the launch at Paragon Shopping Centre yesterday, SRA president R. Dhinakaran said that taking the GSS digital by housing deals under one shopping platform will hopefully reap better sales this year.
After weak retail sales during last year's GSS period, the SRA had said it would be assessing the future of the annual sale, launched in 1994.
"The Singapore retail sector, like the broader economy, needs to embrace and adapt to fast-emerging technologies," said Mr Dhinakaran.
While the SRA took the lead in spearheading GoSpree, its success is dependent on retailers embracing it, he said.
"GoSpree is here to stay, so I strongly urge all retailers to do our part to put the buzz back into the retail industry," he said.
Mr Danny Tan, executive director of Jay Gee Melwani Group, said that Levi's decided to offer a one-for-one deal on its iconic 501 jeans model to celebrate GoSpree's launch.
The group manages brands including Levi's and Aldo.
"We believe that the app is timely, (coming) during this challenging period for retailers, and especially so since consumers these days are tech-savvy," said Mr Tan.
Trampoline park Bounce Singapore at Cathay Cineleisure is taking part in the GSS for the first time and offering a two-for-one eCoupon.
The trampoline park's sales and marketing manager Roland Tan said that while the sale has historically focused on retail and some F&B, there has been limited participation by attractions. The GoSpree app caters to younger consumers who may be looking for options beyond food and shopping, which Bounce provides, said Mr Tan.
The GoSpree app can be downloaded free from the Apple Store and Google Play Store, and will be in use beyond the GSS, which runs until Aug 13.
The eCoupons can be downloaded onto smartphones for redemption at stores, while QR codes displayed at shopfronts can also be scanned on the app for rewards.
Some retailers will be using the geo-location-enabled app to alert nearby shoppers to flash deals.
UnionPay is the official card for the GSS for the second year, and cardholders are entitled to exclusive offers.
Student Alyssa Loo, 16, who downloaded the app yesterday, said: "I think the app is a smart idea, it is interactive and has a wide range on offer across malls."
Teacher Reena Mehrotra, 38, who has been taking advantage of GSS discounts for the past 12 years, said the app helps to collate deals.
"I am planning to buy some electronics and shoes, so hopefully, I can find some good deals on it."