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Business Advice

Malls in Marina Bay forgo Xmas lights

Christmas lights will not be shining on Marina Bay this year after malls in the area decided to give the annual display a miss.
The Sunday Times - November 25, 2012
By: Goh Shi Ting
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Malls in Marina Bay forgo Xmas lights

SINGAPORE - Christmas lights will not be shining on Marina Bay this year after malls in the area decided to give the annual display a miss.

Instead, they will be holding various promotionsincluding a $50,000 festive lucky draw.

For the past three years, Marina Bay has joined Orchard Road in putting up Christmas lights and displays on stretches of Raffles Avenue and Raffles Boulevard.

The light-ups have received a positive response from the public, said the president of its business association, Ms Rose Tong.

But she said taking a break this year will allow the association to take a step back to review what has been done and what needs to be improved.

"Unlike Orchard Road, which is linear and continuous, Marina Bay is uniquely... circular and disjointed, which will require more creativity to decorate the streets," she said.

The Marina Bay Business Association represents 10 malls including Raffles City, Esplanade Mall and The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands.

Ms Tong said the Christmas light-up was introduced three years ago to dispel the notion that the area was a "construction site" because of the new malls being built on the waterfront.

In lieu of the lights will be a collaboration by the 10 malls to contribute gifts to a lucky draw worth $50,000. One shopper from each mall will win a $5,000 basket of goodies that includes a hotel stay and shopping vouchers.

Ms Tong said the lucky draw costs far less than the light-ups in previous years.

"It was a huge investment and we had to consider spending the money meaningfully," she told The Straits Times.

Individual malls have put up their own Christmas trees and themed displays, and are dishing out carpark discounts and promotional sales.

Suntec City, which is undergoing a massive makeover, is enticing families with cartoon mascots for photo-taking opportunities, while Millenia Walk is attracting foodies with a corner selling festive treats.

Retailers are also sparing no effort to capitalise on the season of giving.

"We are in the ERP area and carpark rates are expensive. Our other outlet in Tanglin Mall is doing better," said Mr Alvin Tay, retail executive of Home-Fix's flagship outlet in Marina Square.

The DIY hardware store is aiming to draw crowds with its Christmas gifts collection.

Hershey's Chocolate World at CityLink Mall has hired a visual merchandiser to dress up the store in line with a new range of Christmas products.

However, retailers said more can be done to hype up the quieter malls.

"Malls have bigger exposure and budgets to pull in the crowds," said Mr Lin Shihao, business development manager of Chocz in Esplanade Mall.

Shopper Lee Fang told The Straits Times: "If there was a competition among the malls in Marina Bay, there would be more effort to decorate the place. Or if the malls collaborate to have the same theme, then there is more reason for me to come here to do my Christmas shopping."


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