Orchard Road retailers expect 5% rise in sales this festive season
- POSTED: 20 Dec 2013 23:43
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Retailers in Orchard Road are expecting to report a five per cent increase in sales this festive season, compared to a year ago -- according to the Orchard Road Business Association.
SINGAPORE: Retailers in Orchard Road are expecting to report a five per cent increase in sales this festive season, compared to a year ago -- according to the Orchard Road Business Association.
This year, retailers are increasingly engaging consumers through social media to attract them to stores.
Department store Tangs on Orchard has seen sales jump by up to 20 per cent this festive season. This follows the recent completion of the second phase in its S$45 million renovation -- its refurbished household section was launched on November 15.
Foo Tiang Sooi, CEO of Tangs, said: "We've just revamped our basement floor, enlarging it, making it a lot more compelling. We find that the traffic has improved and we are performing better... Because there are a lot of new homes being set up, (shoppers) will buy nice-looking appliances that are following the trends in terms of colours to make their gifts more unique."
Singapore shoppers' average gift spending this year is expected to grow 54 per cent on-year according to a UOB survey, bolstered by a positive economic outlook. More tourists from the region such as Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines are also flocking to local stores.
However, retailers have had to manage the larger crowds with a tighter labour supply.
Steven Goh, executive director of the Orchard Road Business Association, said: "This year, we've seen a lot of regional tourists, and even Singaporeans, in town to check out the lights, check out the offers... I think the manpower crunch still remains a bigger challenge for our retailer and restaurant operators.
"Even with the increase in pay packages for part-timers, we still don't see a lot of Singaporeans willing to come in and work in very demanding environments."
Apart from Orchard Road, some stores are also using online platforms to cater to higher demand in the festive season. Pine Garden's Cake store receives over 70 per cent of its orders online.
Wei Chan, business development director at Pine Garden's Cake, said: "The good thing about online ordering is that we're able to forecast about the volume coming in, especially during the crux of the festive season. We're talking about December 22nd to 26th, up to 31st.
"With that volume, there are two things we could do -- one, we increase our so-called supplies procurement; two, we try to increase our manpower."
Online promotions and mobile advertising channels are also being used by retailers to attract customers.
Mr Foo added: "We're looking at omni-channel retailing -- in other words, we try to reach the potential customer and engage him through the various channels which are now available to him and we would like to ensure that he then makes a commercial transaction at some stage."
Based on the UOB survey, 35 per cent of all Christmas shopping this year is being done virtually, compared to 28 per cent a year ago.