The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, with 270 boutiques and restaurants, is a retail landmark in Singapore and is the country’s first large-scale luxury shopping mall. Vanessa Ching catches up with Marina Bay Sands’ John Postle, vice-president of Retail on the latest happenings at The Shoppes.
With 800,000sqf of retail space and boasting more than 170 luxury and premium brands spanning across bespoke menswear, women’s collections, luxury children’s labels, as well as luxury watch and jewellery brands, there is much variety on offer for the luxury shopper, under one roof.
The Shoppes has brought brands such as Porsche Design, Tom Ford, REDValentino, Ralph Lauren Purple Label, Hermes Watch Boutique and CH Carolina Herrera to Singapore’s shores.
The Louis Vuitton “Island Maison”, housed in the Crystal Pavillion (North), is the first of its kind in the world. The Shoppes also houses Chanel’s only duplex in Singapore with a beauty and fragrance standalone boutique, Bulgari’s largest boutique in South-east Asia, and Kenzo’s and Loewe’s South-east Asian flagship boutiques.
How has The Shoppes developed from its inception?
John Postle: Since opening in 2010, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands has evolved to focus on building the most coveted collection of luxury brands with the broadest range of collectible items, all housed within their stores here. This strategy is a result of increasing demand from luxury retailers to expand their footprint with us in order to deliver their full range of collections at The Shoppes to shoppers who are drawn naturally to our iconic destination.
We celebrated the completion of a successful three-year-long strategic retail remix in April this year. Today, The Shoppes houses the most number of luxury and premium brands under one roof (more than 170), as well as the most number of luxury duplex and triplex stores (15 and counting), across various segments, including men’s, watch and jewellery, as well as children’s.
We have witnessed the faith and confidence that our retailers have placed in us as they choose to debut their brands, or open their most stunning flagship stores in the region, right here at The Shoppes.
In addition to bringing in their full line of products and services, we are also in constant conversations with these luxury powerhouses to create Shoppes-exclusive products that are only available in Singapore.
What is its vision for the next five years?
Postle: Our positioning and remix strategy have seen dividends, not just in terms of revenue — The Shoppes was recently awarded ‘Best Shopping Experience’ at the 2015 Singapore Experience Awards organised by the Singapore Tourism Board.
This is our second consecutive win at the prestigious awards following a string of other regional accolades, such as the International Council of Shopping Centres (ICSC) 2015 APAC. Moving forward, we continue to explore opportunities to grow with our retail partners and offer innovative ideas in the retail mix.
The Shoppes will also continue to build on its luxury offerings, across all segments including men’s and women’s labels, watch and jewellery, as well as its Children’s Collection. We’ve recently further expanded our luxury footprint with the first and only Dolce&Gabbana Junior in South-east Asia, and many more to come — such as Armani Junior, Bonpoint and Hamley’s of London, one of the world’s leading toy stores.
We also launched a destination-wide campaign in November this year which celebrated our innovative cocktails and the art of bartending at our award-winning restaurants.
What is a recent project that you are most proud of?
Postle: In 2012, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands embarked on a three-year-long transformative period to further develop its existing retail mix by expanding the footprint of leading luxury brands, which spans across segments including men’s, women’s, watch and jewellery.
In line with its vision to deliver a world-class shopping experience, The Shoppes amassed more than 170 luxury and premium brands under one roof by April this year, boasting the largest collection of luxury brands within a shopping mall in South-east Asia.
To mark the completion of its strategic retail remix, The Shoppes launched a ‘Discover’ campaign with three goals: to reposition the mall as one of the most compelling luxury shopping destinations in Asia; highlight its expanded luxury product offerings and bespoke services; and position it as a top-of-mind destination for luxury seekers.
This project has itself won accolades for its vision, delivery and impact, including ‘Best Use of Shopping Mall’ at the Marketing Events Awards 2015 and Silver award at the ICSC 2015 APAC for ‘Marketing Excellence, Public Relations & Events’.
Could you please share what are the successful e-commerce case studies by MBS Shoppe’s retail outlets?
Postle: In July this year, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands introduced a new digital platform — the ‘Click & Collect’ service — which enables shoppers to browse and reserve limited edition items that could only be found at The Shoppes in Singapore. With the ease of a click, shoppers can ensure that their favourite item is reserved for 48 hours before heading to the physical boutiques to purchase the item.
This is yet another initiative to showcase the mall’s unmatched collection of luxury offerings as well as make our customers and feel special when they arrive at their destination, knowing that their item is waiting for them.
How do you see The Shoppes’ benchmark as, on the global stage?
Postle: As part of an integrated resort that is ever-evolving, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands is continuously innovating to create that journey of discovery for discerning shoppers. Therefore, what we’ve created is a top-of-mind destination — one that is luxurious, bespoke, comprehensive and very accessible in one single location.
Only at The Shoppes will you find the most number of duplexes in the region, where brands are committed to bringing their complete range of collections to be housed within a single destination. For instance, Dior at The Shoppes encompasses men’s wear, women’s wear, beauty and fragrances, as well as the first Baby Dior in South-east Asia.
Only at The Shoppes will you find stores opening as late as midnight to cater to the late-night shopping crowd (most malls in town close by 9.30pm).
We also have a strong and highly diversified line-up of dining options to complete the retail experience — from award-winning celebrity chef restaurants to bars that open till late. The Shoppes is also the first and only mall to offer a complimentary shoe-shine service located near its Men’s Collection.
To add, we stage some of the most spectacular mall events, including our re-launch event ‘Discover’ in April this year, as well as the Christmas Festive Light-up event with David Beckham at the Skating Rink — which both clinched Silver and Gold awards in October this year at the Marketing Events Awards.
Can you share your thoughts on customer service?
Postle: The Shoppes strongly believes that the personal touch is paramount to defining the ultimate shopping experience. As such, recruiting the best talent across all aspects of retail to deliver world-class customer service is a key priority for us.
Many of our luxury retails also adapt the same belief in-store by offering impeccable bespoke services to make our shoppers feel special.
We value our customers’ needs and are always looking for new ways to innovate and bring the overall retail experience to the next level.