New sale aims to draw Chinese tourists

A special 18-day sale will be held from the end of this month to the middle of next month to coincide with a national holiday in China.

Called the Singapore Golden Week, like the week-long holiday in China, the event is geared to attract Chinese visitors, the biggest spenders here last year.

The Singapore Retailers Association (SRA), the sale organiser, has secured Chinese payments firm UnionPay as the official card.

SRA president R. Dhinakaran announced the event at an annual awards ceremony last night at the Raffles City Convention Centre.

"With the exclusive UnionPay privileges that we have curated from the industry, we hope to boost retail sales by giving local and overseas UnionPay cardholders more reasons to spend in Singapore," he said.

Visitors from China spent S$2.54 billion in Singapore last year, excluding sightseeing, entertainment and gaming. Almost half of that money went on shopping, with the rest going on accommodation, food, transport and other expenses.

The Great Singapore Sale (GSS), held this year between June and the middle of last month, was also aimed at the high-spending Chinese market in a bid to boost retail sales amid weaker domestic economic sentiment.

Mr Dhinakaran also said the Retail Academy of Singapore, under the SRA, is in discussion with universities to introduce a new Masters in Retailing programme for the Singapore market.

The ASEAN market and e-commerce provide opportunities that the retail industry here should tap for growth, said Minister of State for Trade and Industry, Dr Koh Poh Koon,at the event yesterday.

He said a report by investment firm Temasek Holdings and Google released in May found the e-commerce market in Singapore is expected tobe worth S$7.5 billion by 2025.

Among the awards he presented yesterday were those for the best new entrant, retail concept, and retail event.

The DFS Wines and Spririts Duplex at Changi Airport Terminal 3 won the best retail concept of the year award, while Star Wars at Changi Airport by the Changi Airport Group won the best retail event of the year award.

NTUC took the honours for best new entrant this year for its Warehouse Club at Jook Koon Circle, which introduced an alternative shopping experience and added vibrancy to the retail sector, said the SRA.

Mr Peter Teo, general manager of supermarkets at NTUC, said: "This is good recognition for our efforts. By being innovative, we tapped a different segment."

This article was first published on September 22, 2016.
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