Singapore Retail Galore
From international labels to local finds, Singapore is shopper’s paradise whether on a budget or a mission to splurge...
The complete cultural contrast of Little India is great for souvenirs, garments, decorations and accessories. The faint aroma of spices and colourful scarves are sure to awaken the senses.
When searching for the ultimate shopping destination, most equate Paris with the latest haute couture, Japan with quirky gadgets and Hong Kong with serious bargains. However Singapore’s status as a shopping city is rapidly on the rise. Best of all, the convenient layout of town and proximity to reputable merchandise districts means that retail hotspots are only a stone’s throw away from one another.
Sharon Connolly, image consultant, speaker, trainer and author at the Maximise Group, provides the shopaholic’s ideal itinerary, comprising international labels, electronics and obscure local finds.
Home to a plethora of brands and glamorous hotels such as Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore, the city’s most famous shopping district, Orchard Road, features countless complexes, each with a slightly different theme and target market. Lining both sides of the iconic boulevard, you could literally spend days exploring buyer’s mecca.
Designer mall Ngee Ann houses international luxury brands like Chanel and Prada, while Somerset 313 features trendy high-street fashion, including Forever 21, Mango and Zara. Connolly’s top pick for visitors is the recently established ION Orchard, which mingles high-end shops like Christian Dior with Warehouse, Topshop and Cotton On. Next on her list would be Paragon Mall, a smaller version with offerings to suit any budget.
In terms of quintessential local malls, Takashimaya, Tangs and Robinsons are the most well-known. The first department store in Singapore, Tangs is well known for having the best selection of cosmetic brands in town. While architecturally stunning, the department stores consist of similar offerings as most international shopping centres.
Therefore, if you only have one day to shop, it may be an idea to abandon the malls in favour of local designer boutiques in Chinatown, Little India and Bugis street market. Transportation is a breeze, as you can either walk through the underground passes, hail a taxi or use the MRT railway.
Chinatown & Little India
When it comes to souvenirs, Chinatown should be the first port of call. The area has developed dramatically over the last few years. Recently developed district Ann Siang Hill began with four streets (Ann Siang Hill, Ann Siang Road, Club Street and Erskine Road) and gradually evolved into an up-and-coming district with a host of local designers and boutiques showcasing one-of-a-kind finds. Retaining the structure of low-rise, historical buildings of up to 30 years old, some spaces have been transformed into fashionable outlets, furniture warehouses, bookstores and restaurants. A stroll down the streets conveys the local individuality and creativity.
For a rare indulgence, Singapore's jewellery, particularly the crafted jade necklaces from Chinatown, is hard to beat. Within walking distance is the complete cultural contrast of Little India, which is great for souvenirs, garments, decorations and accessories. The faint aroma of spices and colourful scarves are sure to awaken the senses. A stone’s throw away from the Little India MRT station is Sim Lim Square, comprising six storeys of electronics and computers gadgets for the tech savvy.
Bugis Street Market
Another quintessential Singapore shopping experiences is the Bugis district along Arab Street. Connolly recommends this for the hip fashion elite who will be in their element, particularly the 10-storey high Iluma building, housing funky street wear brands. Further down Bugis Street Junction is a wide array of off-the-wall purchases for those who have had their fill of the usual mall offerings. The Bugis Street Market encompasses a mind-boggling selection of 600 indoor outlets, much to the delight of out-of-town bargain hunters.
For visitors on a tight schedule, retail therapy against a picturesque backdrop to experience the city at its best. The endless shopping options and distinctive districts make Singapore the perfect place to indulge in fabulous buys. Last but not least, don't forget to take home a miniature lion figurine - the ultimate Singaporean souvenir!
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Thank you for this information. My wife and I are looking forward to another holiday in Singapore 2012, staying at your wonderful hotel.