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Great Singapore Sale begins Sept 9, widens reach to online shoppers with offers on apparel, furniture and tours

SINGAPORE — The Great Singapore Sale (GSS) will be happening online this year as its organisers aim to encourage digitalisation among retailers and drive Singaporeans to spend on home grounds in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Great Singapore Sale begins Sept 9, widens reach to online shoppers with offers on apparel, furniture and tours

The one-month Great Singapore Sale that is going digital will see 800 brands from various industries taking part.

  • GSS goes online as organisers reverse decision to not hold it this year
  • It will have a dedicated app for shoppers to browse online catalogues, check out virtual showrooms and win prizes
  • The event is part of the Singapore Tourism Board’s SingapoRediscover campaign
  • Organisers hope to anchor consumer spending at home and support businesses here

 

SINGAPORE — The Great Singapore Sale (GSS) will be happening online this year as its organisers aim to encourage digitalisation among retailers and drive Singaporeans to spend on home grounds in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Organised by the Singapore Retailers Association (SRA), the one-month event will see 800 brands from various industries taking part, in collaboration with the Association of Singapore Attractions (ASA), the Singapore Furniture Industries Council (SFIC), and the Textiles and Fashion Federation (TaFF). 

The annual sale, which is now called “eGSS: Shop. Win. Experience”, is set to run from Sept 9 to Oct 10.

On why the association changed its mind after announcing in May that it was not organising the GSS, Ms Rose Tong, executive director of SRA, said at a media briefing on Thursday (July 23) that this was due to “popular demand” from retailers, adding that the GSS’ 25-year history made them feel that “something was missing” if it was not held this year. 

The eGSS is part of the S$45 million SingapoRediscover campaign unveiled by the Singapore Tourism Board on Wednesday to reinvigorate the tourism sector, which has been badly hit by the pandemic and it is the largest campaign introduced in Singapore to drive domestic demand. 

SRA president R Dhinakaran said in a statement that this year’s GSS takes into account the circumstances in which the retail industry is operating. It took a digital direction for industry players to stay adaptable and agile, and also to engage new shoppers.

SFIC president Mark Yong said that the furniture retail industry had long relied on traditional models of sales and this had become a challenge due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The eGSS is thus a good way to encourage those in the industry who are slow to digitalise to “embrace digital technology”, he added.

This year’s sales event will tie in with the launch of the GoSpree.sg website, which will be optimised for use on both desktops and mobile phones.

The GoSpree app will allow users to access virtual showrooms and online catalogues, attend exclusive events with influencers via livestream that may feature special offers, or take part in online games to win prizes or vouchers.

Ms Tong said that the app would “form the backbone” for retailers to tap a unified marketing platform where food-and-beverage operators, hoteliers and attraction operators are also participants. 

For example, the e-catalogue in the app will highlight a brand's featured products that are bestsellers or limited editions, and will link customers directly to the brand’s online site.

The catalogue will also have a different theme for each week of the sale and will feature products relating to the themes such as made-in-Singapore goods or items that are budget-friendly.

In collaboration with SFIC, furniture retailers will hold virtual showrooms for shoppers to view designs and products, be notified of promotions, as well as interact with the sellers. 

Likewise, every two weeks, a digital lookbook will be curated by TaFF, which has homegrown brands such as Esse The Label and Tria the Label as members, to highlight Singapore labels and retailers. The lookbook will be integrated with the OneOrchard.store website to allow shoppers to make all their buys at one place. 

Apart from the online drive, brick-and-mortar stores will also benefit because prizes won from the games and promotional materials downloaded from the catalogue can be used both online and offline. 

Joining the sales event for the first time, ASA members — which include museums, the zoo, Science Centre Singapore and Gardens by the Bay — will offer promotions and a selection of experiences at attractions to consumers. 

The association’s chairman Kevin Cheong said that this is in part to remind Singaporeans that there are attractions at home and a visit to these places can be an “alternative to travelling overseas”.

In recent years, the viability of the GSS has been called into question, with declining retail sales and shoppers saying that they no longer look forward to the event.

Data from the Department of Statistics Singapore showed that retail sales, excluding vehicles, fell by 2.4 per cent in July last year compared to in 2018. 

Addressing the timeliness of holding the sales event during a period of economic slump, TaFF president Wilson Teo believes that people are still willing to spend despite the grim outlook, and that it is up to retailers to engage with consumers and present experiences and offers to them to get them “excited”.  

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Great Singapore Sale online Covid-19 coronavirus

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