Back in the 90s to early 2000s, kids hang out with their friends at shopping centres after school and during the weekends.
If they’ve saved up more pocket money that particular week, they’ll splurge on a Subway meal. Or even better, a meal at Pizza Hut.
Go to Comics Connection (RIP, Comics Connection) and you’ll see kids looking excitedly for the latest Chuang Yi comic book.
Fast forward ten years later and you’ll see a very big difference.
Shopping malls are experiencing lesser foot traffic, retail stores are experiencing falling sales and shops in the mall are changing all the time.
So there you are, thinking, ah, brick-and-mortar retail stores are dying. Nobody buys from them anymore.
After all, the online world is more exciting, isn’t it?
Why waste your afternoon hanging out at Jurong Point or Westgate if it’s going to be the same old brands, same old clothes, same old shops?
But then, this happened.
Century Square Reopens in June 2018
I know what you’re thinking. It’s just a shopping mall reopening. What’s the big deal?
Now, it’s not the fact that Tampines is going to have three functioning shopping malls clustered around the MRT station.
That’s old news.
It’s about what the mall operator said.
The mall isn’t just a place for people to swing by and buy stuff because it’s convenient.
It’s a lifestyle destination by itself.
Bicycle stations with showering facilities, walls where you can doodle over, a gym and a movie theatre, a new hybrid grocery-dining concept store.
A new roof deck and mobile phone charging stations.
Basically a place you can stay for the whole day and not get bored sitting around.
It’s not for you to shop. It’s for you to enjoy.
And this is the third mall in AsiaMall’s portfolio that they’re revamping.
Following their revamping of Tiong Bahru Plaza and White Sands, the foot traffic for these two malls doubled.
If this works, and more mall operators follow in their footsteps, it could just reinvent the way we Singaporeans spend our weekends again.
We’ll want to come out and hang out with friends and families, just like how Pokemon GO got us out of the house back in 2016.
After all, it worked for Thailand
Bangkok has a bustling retail scene. So much so that it seems they’ve dodged the bullet when it comes to the death of brick-and-mortar stores.
Of course, there are arguments that the country’s people have not been Amazon-ed yet, meaning hooked to online shopping.
But one important factor when it comes to keeping the retail scene bustling is also Bangkok’s retail philosophy.
Retail shopping must always be kept updated, fresh and exciting for visitors.
It’s not just a place for transactions. It’s a fun past time for Thais as well.
Remember how we used to love window-shopping even though we don’t buy anything?
This could just be the beginning of a new era for Singaporeans.
Maybe they should just change the name altogether: it shouldn’t be called a shopping mall. It should be called a lifestyle mall.
Do come back to the Goody Feed app tomorrow for more commentary!
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