Orchard Road remains the top destination for shoppers during the recent Great Singapore Sale, according to a new report, debunking calls that Singapore's prime shopping belt may be losing its shine.
The premier retail strip attracted the highest footfall during the city-state's annual shopping promotion, held from May 29 to June 28 this year, a new report by location intelligence company AdNear said. The study analyzed the foot traffic data from 192,000 respondents in six retail locations, including Bugis Junction, Marina Square, Novena Square, Orchard Road, Raffles City and Suntec City, for the month of June.
"The busy shopping district [of Orchard Road] had almost 2.5 times more foot traffic, definitely in line with the fact that it has an array of malls [compared to] Suntec City, Raffles City and Bugis Junction," the AdNear report said.
Long regarded as one of Asia's best shopping streets, Orchard Road has been struggling to keep up with a competitive retail environment brought about by a confluence of factors including fewer tourist arrivals from China andincreased competition from suburban malls and online retailers.
Reflecting slowing sales at major department stores, average monthly gross rents of prime retail space on Orchard Road slipped 1 percent in the second quarter to a four-year low of $37.79 Singapore dollars per square foot, according to data provided by property consultancy Cushman and Wakefield.
With its position as a top shopping destination at stake, events such as the Pedestrian Night where a section of Orchard Road goes car-free once a month, have been unveiled; while a $40 million worth of facelift is on the cards to rejuvenate Singapore's premier shopping street.
Who likes Orchard Road more?
To be sure, shoppers are not ditching Orchard Road just yet.
Among consumers surveyed by AdNear, the tree-lined shopping belt is ranked among the top three retail locations for the affluent group, homemakers, professionals and travelers. Only the student category gave the shopping precinct a thumbs-down, ranking Orchard Road as the second least-preferred place for retail therapy.
Orchard Road is also the go-to destination for females, but shunned by male shoppers who ranked it as the least desirable shopping destination. Interestingly, the top choice for male shoppers - Marina Square - was ranked last by female consumers.
Gender differences also showed in the preferred day to go shopping.
The report showed Sunday as the favorite day for a shopping spree among females, whilst the men favored a mid-week splurge, with footfall at its highest on Tuesdays. Despite the preference for different days, both genders like to shop between 5pm and 9pm.