The Great Singapore Sale (GSS) will be shortened from 10 weeks to one month in 2019. Prior to the move, GSS, which is in its 25th year, ran as a month-long event since its beginnings in 1994. With rising consumer sales, the event gradually evolved into one of Singapore's biggest retail event, with more weeks being added over the years.
According to The Straits Times, the duration was shortened in a bid to revamp the event which has seen a decline in sales over the years. Speaking at an annual gala dinner, president of Singapore Retailers Association (SRA) R. Dhinakaran said that next year's event will focus on providing "sensory and social experience".
This includes a showcase of more of a "Singapore story" through the combination of art, technology and entertainment with retail and food and beverage. He added that as organisers of GSS, SRA will also extend its support to its members and the retail community for next year.
The report also saw Dhinakaran attributing the revamp to changes in consumer behaviour, competition from online retailers as well as feedback from retailers and stakeholders. This prompted SRA to "review" the duration and content of the event. That being said, the previous extended duration for the event had "worked well" in the past years as it had captured a wider customer base, including tourists and locals.
Dhinakaran added that the SRA is in talks with other trade associations to discuss on the efforts to "invigorate" next year's GSS with new experiences as it aims to be a "a national event that transcends sales and discounts".
This is not the first time the organisation has attempted to breathe life back into the shopping event. Last year, GSS took a new approach with the launch of a new app delivering deals and e-coupons to consumers. Called “GoSpree”, the new app allows shoppers to compile discounts on a virtual card which can be used at designated physical stores.
The aim of the app was to reach out to younger shoppers who are technologically savvy. It also aims to help smaller stores in the heartlands pull in shoppers during GSS by incentivising the shopping experience. Despite bringing a slight increase in sales, the app did not "revive excitement" about the event, the ST report said. However, there are plans to add more features to the app, which offers deals and discounts through e-coupons.
Marketing has reached out to Singapore Retailers Association and Singapore Tourism Board for comment.
The move comes amidst declining growth in the local retail scene. According to the Department of Statistics, retail sales has decreased by 2.6% in July 2018 compared to July 2017, mainly due to low sales in motor vehicles.
However, retail sales saw a 0.2% increase generally, excluding motor vehicles. As opposed to June 2018, the retail sales in July 2018 excluding motor vehicles rose by 1.1%. The total retail sales value in July 2018 was estimated at SG$3.7 billion, out of which online retail sales contributed to about 4.4%.
John Little bids farewell to Singapore retail space
Should fashion brands forget about retail altogether?
Can the retail industry pull out of gloom and doom?
Will Pokemon Go be the answer to Singapore’s tourism and retail woes?