~ By Bertha Henson ~
I was in town on Thursday afternoon and wondering why I was fighting my way through Takashimaya. Then it dawned on me that it was the day before the launch of the Great Singapore Sale. Early birds had landed to catch the worm, except that there weren’t many worms to be caught.
So ST was right in saying that many retailers were giving the event a miss in its Saturday edition. The question is why? There were two reasons cited – insufficient inventory and directions from parent company on timing of sales etc. Some rather more fundamental questions should be asked: What does the Singapore Retailers Association, which organised the event, say about this lack of numbers? We have a lame response of how the role is simply to generate a marketing buzz and it can’t be helped if other retailers have their own sales times.
Here are more questions.
How many stores participated last year, and are doing so this year? While there were figures on how many stores out of a total taking part, there was no year-on-year comparison. For all you know, there could be even fewer last year…
Which stores took part last year and decided not to this year? Why? Not much money brought in?
What is the SRA doing differently this year that could account for the (presumably) smaller number? Later start to the organisation of the sale? Does it levy some kind of joining fee? What are the incentives for stores to take part?
Where is the Singapore Tourism Board in all this? Terrible to say there is a sale and have disappointed foreigners who come down expecting a big deal.
And how come SRA’s president, Jannie Chan, didn’t even list her own Hour Glass as a participant? She has no faith in her own event? How can others follow when the SRA does not lead?
In fact, that would be how I would have started the story – that even the president of the Singapore Retailers’ Association, which organises the current GSS, did not have her store take part in the sale.
TOC thanks Bertha Henson for her contribution, this article first appeared on her blog. Bertha Henson is a former Associate Editor of 'The Straits Times'.