Long-time Orchard Rd mall to get makeover

Long-time Orchard Rd mall to get makeover

Shopping mall The Centrepoint, which has seen an exodus of long-time tenants, will get a $50 million makeover in two months' time.

After its revamp, it will have a new tenant mix, a more open layout and zones focused on fashion, beauty, lifestyle, sports, dining and the home, said owner Frasers Centrepoint Malls yesterday.

The eight-storey complex has been a familiar sight in Orchard Road for 32 years.

But it has failed to retain heavyweight tenants such as supermarket chain Cold Storage - the latest to announce it will be making its exit. Tenants said they survive on the patronage of tourists and regular customers, and that the mall is usually quiet except on weekends, perhaps due to competition from newer malls along the shopping belt.

During its 16-month renovation, The Centrepoint will remain open, with American clothing retailer Gap, coffee chain Starbucks and Japanese restaurant Ichiban Boshi among its 90 remaining tenants. Its Orchard Road entrance will be widened and visitors will be able to walk right into the basement floors from the street level.

There will also be a new drop-off and pick-up point on level one to make it easier for families with children and the elderly, said Frasers.

Mr Christopher Tang, chief executive of Frasers Centrepoint Commercial, said the group is "confident the overall exercise will inject greater vibrancy into the mall".

"Since it opened its doors in 1983, the mall has undergone several makeovers, always returning with more exciting concepts to delight shoppers," he added.

The revamp, scheduled to be completed in the second half of next year, is part of an ongoing initiative to refresh the malls within the group's portfolio. Its refurbished malls include Anchorpoint in Alexandra Road, Yishun's Northpoint, Causeway Point in Woodlands and Valley Point in River Valley Road.

The Centrepoint revamp is timely for the mall, which seemed to have lost its lustre since last May, when anchor tenant Robinsons moved out after 31 years. Teochew City Seafood Restaurant, a tenant of 25 years, followed suit five months later, as sales had halved after Robinsons' exit.

And last Thursday, Marks & Spencer said it will close its Centrepoint outlet on March 29 to focus on its other stores.

The British retailer's outlet on levels one and two and electronics store Harvey Norman on level three will make way for a "gourmet precinct and an expanded fashion zone", said Frasers.

It said the plan to remake The Centrepoint was conceived last year, with new anchor Metro moving in last November.

But that move has not had a good start. In Metro Holdings' earnings report last month, it said a "disappointing level of sales" at the new store had resulted in losses.

mellinjm@sph.com.sg

During its 16-month renovation, The Centrepoint will remain open.


This article was first published on Mar 19, 2015.
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