East gets hotter with new mall

East gets hotter with new mall

SINGAPORE - Residents in the eastern part of Singapore have more to rejoice over, as more retail offerings are expected in the near future. Yesterday, Bedok Mall hit a new milestone with a topping-out ceremony.

The retail section of the mall is expected to open in time for Christmas this year.

It is already 85 per cent leased, with newly-announced tenants Uniqlo, Royal Sporting House and Dorothy Perkins joining others such as FairPrice Finest and Best Denki.

Other shopping developments in the east include the revamp of the 16-year-old Eastpoint Mall reported in February, the official opening of Changi City Point in April last year, 112 Katong opening its door in November 2011, and the official opening of Bedok Point in April 2011.

Ms Esther Ho, Nanyang Polytechnic's manager of diploma of retail studies, said such developments are a reflection of how shopping malls are "under pressure to differentiate and bring about a new value proposition to their customers".

In the case of the eastern part of Singapore, malls are leveraging on location, she said. Ms Ho pointed to how 112 Katong has a Peranakan-inspired design as it is in a heritage-rich area, while Changi City Point takes advantage of the fact that it is next to Singapore Expo and close to Changi Airport.

Mr Samuel Tan, course manager for retail management at Temasek Polytechnic, said upcoming train lines - such as the Downtown Line and Eastern Region Line - will boost the retail vibrancy of the area.

He said many malls in the east are accessible by train, and consumers can "easily hop on the train and reach their next shopping destination".

He noted that the east has a unique character that can be found "nowhere else in Singapore", with many malls in close proximity to train stations.

He pointed out that Bedok will become more vibrant, thanks to Bedok Mall, which will house the new bus interchange - opening next year. The mall is linked to Bedok MRT station, so it is easily accessible to travellers from Changi Airport.

The residential section of the mall is slated to be completed in 2015. Ninety-five per cent of the 583 residential units have been sold. The mall will not have a food court. It will play host to restaurants and fast-food joints instead.

Mr Philip Yim, general manager of Bedok Mall and Bedok Residences, explained that this is to complement existing trades in the area, noting that the popular Bedok hawker centre is nearby.

wwee@sph.com.sg


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