Oh the woes of the SME retail sector in Singapore. I’m sure you’ve read or heard about them.
Demanding consumers. Price competition. Sky high rentals. Relentless staff turnover (up to 300% a year in extreme cases). Difficulty in hiring. Competition from big chains. Rising utility costs. Increasing costs of goods. Growing transportation costs.
The list of problems faced by SME retailers is seemingly endless.
Calling all fashion fans, designers, merchandisers and retailers!
Experience Singapore’s largest showcase of emerging and established fashion brands at BLUEPRINT – Asia’s Fashion Gateway. Comprising a tradeshow and emporium, this two-in-one extravaganza for the trendily coiffured will take place 16 to 19 May at Fashion by the Bay at The Pit Building (where the F1 Night Races are held).
What are Johor Bahru’s (JB) malls like? Do they really offer great value for shoppers?
Recently, my wife and I decided to revisit JB’s shopping malls after hearing positive things (mainly how cheap it was to buy books from Popular) about our closest neighbouring city from friends. As we’re pretty time-starved, we chose to focus on two malls – City Square and KSL City.
In my previous post, I’ve shared how my wife and I decided at the spur of a moment to take a train from Tanjong Pagar to Johor Bahru. Naturally, the train ride itself was an experience in itself. Upon reaching our nearest Northern neighbour, our mission was to explore its newest shopping malls, eat till we burst, indulge in some massage, and shop during the post-Christmas sale (especially for Chinese New Year clothes).
The trip was certainly an eye opener. It revealed how similar yet dissimilar JB is to Singapore. While the shopping malls were every bit as impressive as ours – give or take a couple of years in terms of fashion tastes and trends – what particularly charmed me were the old style kopitiams (coffee shops), hawker centres, and street scapes which can no longer be found in Singapore. Although the roads are more chaotic (and dirty) than the streets here, I love that sense of rusticity and nostalgia in JB.
We were also charmed by the hospitality, warmth and sincerity of the Malaysians working in the service industry there. Their earnestness, proactiveness, and friendly banter made all the difference in our shopping, massaging and eating experience.
Teamy the Bee at NHB’s Love Me Love Me Not Exhibition (Courtesy of Youth.sg)
Anybody who has been around long enough would have heard that old anthem for productivity helmed by the mascot “Teamy” the Bee . Perpetuated by the National Productivity Board in the 1980s (now SPRING Singapore), it goes something like this…
“Good better best,
Recently, my wife and I visited the Swanston Essential Store located at People’s Park Complex to pick up some toiletries. Apparently, it has been quite an institution for the denizens of the Chinatown area.
Anybody who need to purchase toiletries and cosmetic items will pop over now and then. They stock items like soap, shampoo, toothpaste, eye-liner and anything else which makes one prettier, better smelling, cleaner and germ-free. The success of the outlet has spawned a branch nearby at People’s Park Centre just across the road.
… the shutters of this vacant shop outlet at Central ©, the spanking new Japanese themed shopping centre along Hill Street?
Hmmm, anybody want to guess? Is it…