Victoria's Secret will open its first South-east Asia flagship store in Singapore by year-end and unveil a full assortment of its sexy wares.
The international lingerie brand will open its 12,000 sq ft outlet in the fourth quarter of the year at Mandarin Gallery in Orchard Road.
The two-storey store will take over the units that Mont Blanc, Bimba Y Lola and Bathing Ape used to occupy. These brands will be moving to other areas in the four-storey mall. The concierge counter on level two will also relocate to level three to accommodate the largest American retailer of women's lingerie.
The nine existing Victoria's Secret stores in Singapore are all beauty and accessories stores. They sell fragrances, accessories and only a small range of women's underwear.
GOOD STARTING POINT
Singapore is seen as an ideal test bed for brands looking to break into South-east Asian markets, and is viewed as an important place to build brand awareness.
MS SARAH LIM, Singapore Polytechnic's senior retail lecturer, on international retailers setting up shop in Singapore
Ms Patrina Tan, senior vice-president of retail, marketing and leasing at Overseas Union Enterprises, which manages Mandarin Gallery, said the hoarding on the mall went up last week.
"Mandarin Gallery has always been known to be a mall that houses the best of the best in retail and food. We have the king of ramen, the king of ribs. So naturally, Victoria's Secret echoes and reinforces what the mall stands for," she said. There are plans for the brand to hold fashion shows on top of other events, she added.
The Straits Times understands that prices at the store will differ from those elsewhere, as they will be based on domestic variables such as taxes and profit margins. Its product range will be the same as that in stores in the United States.
Victoria's Secret is one of several global brands that have chosen to set up shop in Singapore recently.
A recent ranking by property adviser CBRE showed Singapore was second only to Tokyo in retail, having attracted 58 new retail brands in 2014, just shy of Tokyo's 63.
French sporting goods store Decathlon will open a 35,000 sq ft store in Chai Chee Technopark next week; French women's wear label Maje opened its first flagship store at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands in October, and the renowned Dover Street Market will soon make its debut.
Experts said international retailers are looking to emerging markets such as South-east Asia.
"Singapore is seen as an ideal test bed for brands looking to break into South-east Asian markets, and is viewed as an important place to build brand awareness," said Ms Sarah Lim, Singapore Polytechnic's senior retail lecturer. She said Victoria's Secret will up the ante in the retail scene in Singapore. "They don't just sell products, but strengthen their brand with fashion shows and experiential shopping. Other brands can learn from them."
Shoppers like Mrs Gina Farr, 32, a fitness trainer, are excited about the upcoming Victoria's Secret store. She said: "The quality is great, and there will be a wider range, including bras. The range of items they have here now is too small."