Orchard Road, globally known as Singapore’s shopping mecca, is showing no signs that the local obsession with retail therapy is about to end, despite global economic pressures. In fact, the street was given a $40-million facelift in 2008. Shopping during the sale season can be daunting as malls are crammed with experienced bargain hunters, while designer stores hire bouncers and operate queuing systems to keep hysteria at bay. The choice of shops is enormous and you can find every style of Eastern and Western fashion, homeware, jewellery and accessories. Most shops stay open until 10pm, leaving plenty of time to browse, even after work.
One of Asia’s great shopping boulevards, Orchard attracts not just Singaporeans and expats, but enthusiasts from around the world. Whatever you need (or don’t!) you are sure to find it here. Here’s a rundown of some of Orchard’s prominent malls.
Tanglin Mall, a favourite with expats, marks the entrance to the Orchard shopping belt – even though it is actually on Tanglin Road. Offering fashion, shoes, art, home accessories and gifts, Tanglin Mall also boasts Jasons Marketplace, a supermarket that features a wide range of US products.
No to be confused with Tanglin Mall, Tanglin Shopping Centre is renowned for its Oriental carpets, fine Asian furniture and antiques shops.
For bridal wear or a custom-made evening gown, you are sure to find something at Delfi Orchard.
Palais Renaissance offers international brand names from Valentino to DKNY.
Forum specialises in children’s clothes, toys, and books.
Far East Plaza attracts a young crowd and offers inexpensive food and fashion.
Tangs is an up-market department store selling quality fashion and homeware, and is currently celebrating its 80th year in business.
Launched in 2009, the futuristic ION Orchard is tagged as “more than just a mall”. In addition to 400 retail shops, restaurants cafés, and entertainment outlets, it also has a 5,300-square-foot art gallery space and an observation deck. Other similar malls are Orchard Central, 313@somerset and Mandarin Gallery.
A favourite haunt of women in their 20s and 30s, Wisma Atria is home to an Istetan and women’s fashion stores.
A magnet for maids on Sundays, Lucky Plaza is a maze of stores and Filipino eateries, plus stalls touting cameras, phones, and watches.
Ngee Ann City is home to Japanese department store Takashimaya, a huge Kinokuniya bookstore (with one of the largest magazine selections in Singapore), a wide variety of designer boutiques, a library, and a floor of art and craft supply stores.
Plaza Singapura houses a Carrefour hypermarket, a well-stocked crafts and haberdashery store called Spotlight and a variety of other retailers. A short walk away is The Cathay, most loved for its cinema.
Raffles City, Suntec City, Millenia Walk, Marina Square and Esplanade Mall are all connected via the underground Citylink Mall – so even if it’s raining, you can shop all day! Raffles City houses Robinsons, among many other international brands.
Along the waterfront opposite Sentosa is VivoCity – currently Singapore’s largest retail and entertainment complex. The one million square feet of retail space includes a Tangs department store, a Marks & Spencer and a monorail that brings you directly onto Sentosa Island.
Popular among younger shoppers is Bugis Street, the world’s largest air-conditioned shopping street.