Thursday, June 25, 2009

ION Orchard to use technology to stand out from competition

ION Orchard is set to be only the second new mall to open on Orchard Road in the past decade on July 21, but it will face competition from new malls springing up along the iconic shopping belt in the next few months.

The shopping centre said it is looking to stand out from the rest through the use of technology, such as a multi-media wall that can change the appearance of Orchard Road.

It said it will be offering a unique shopping experience for patrons, and hopes to draw shoppers with a mix of large outlets and new concepts.

Said Soon Su Lin, chief executive officer of ION Orchard: “We wanted our tenant profile to be engaging and refreshing, and we set ourselves the ambitious target of having more than 60 per cent flagships, new to market, new concepts.

“Today we have exceeded this target – we have 70 per cent of tenants who are flagships, new to markets, new concepts.”

Among the new brands that have yet to be introduced to Singapore include the trendy Japanese restaurant Itacho Sushi.

Meanwhile, local tea salon TWG Tea Company will be making its largest investment to date at ION.
Said Maranda Barnes, director of TWG Tea Company: “The boutique will also be a bit larger. We can feature some museum pieces as well. Different teas, tea samovars, tea accessories that are one-of-a-kind pieces that we were not able to feature before.”

ION Orchard is pulling all the stops to make sure it is a success.

Apart from its retail offering, ION Orchard will also change the look and feel of Orchard Road.

For example, a multimedia wall will be programmed to display different lights and colours at different intervals to match different themed events.

Said Soon: “There are various factors to make the success of a mall. We felt we need to integrate all of this. Besides a strategic location, having a unique iconic building is important as well because we want to this be a must-visit destination in Singapore for shoppers as well as visitors to Singapore.”

The mall has its own art programme and a 5,000 square foot art gallery.

There will also be a calendar of events and promotions to be held at ION Square, which is right in front of Orchard Road.

The mall is jointly owned by Singapore’s CapitaLand and Hong Kong’s Sun Hung Kai Properties.

Source: Channel News Asia, 25 June 2009

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