Singapore as a shopping paradise has a gloomy current outlook

I will be going to Singapore in July and would definitely want to drop by Orchard Road. Shopping is not my main priority but I would like to feel for myself about a recent news I read. The article is here: Singapore’s reputation as a shopper’s paradise takes a pummelling It does seem that Singapore’s reputation as a shoppers paradise is under threat? The article quoted a few cases where the owners of retail lots were pessimistic with their businesses. A few reasons were stated as the cause. They include weakness in the economy. Singapore’s GDP grew 1.8 percent in Q1 2016. The Singaporean government forecasted its 2016 to be between 1 – 3 percent.
Another reason stated was a drop in spending by tourists. No reason was stated but I think these days, spending by everyone is dropping and not just these tourists who may be bringing with them weaker currencies too. These visitors include middle class tourists from China, India and Southeast Asia. Total spending from overseas shoppers dropped 7 percent in 2015 versus the same period in 2014. Commercial space has also increased by 10 percent. Some were taken up because vacancy rates only rose to 7.3 percent from 5 percent previously. In other words, things are not totally gloomy yet. With the global economy slowing down, the workers in the export sectors are spending even lesser.
Competition is also rising from its neighbours. Things which shoppers would buy in Singapore can now be bought for cheaper in Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia. According to Stephen Goh, executive director at Orchard Road Business Association, there is a tendency for more Singaporeans to shop in cheaper malls overseas. I think this is also because Singaporeans are travelling more, especially with the stronger currency. I hope my friends who are reading this understand that just simply having a stronger currency is not useful if those countries with weaker currencies are able to match what you have as well. Especially with lots of new outlet stores in many cities in Malaysia too. Happy shopping.
written on 10 June 2016
Next suggested article: Higher end retail still okay? Growing 3-4%


  1. Indeed, many people are not spending as much these days. I love going to Orchard Road for a walk and shopping (window shopping, that is lol) simple because it’s a nice change from the streets of Bukit Bintang. Most of the items I buy are those that cannot be found in Malaysia, like skincare and makeup products, and of course food! (Bacon biscuits :P) Used to haul back a lot of those things, but these few years the exchange rate shoot up until every cent also have to convert before putting into basket 🙁

    1. Yea. Agree.

  2. Nowadays Singaporean are crazy over Taobao. People are getting more and more tech-savy and thus, more online shopping. Facing with high Rental space and competition from online products from overseas, I think most mid-range brand got hit the most.

    1. You have a good point dooodleartz. Especially brands without a strong premium.

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