Singapore, known for its vibrant fashion and beauty scene, has a new star in its constellation of luxury retail destinations. Raffles City, the premier fashion, beauty, and lifestyle mall, is making waves as the ultimate beauty destination in the Lion City. In a recent milestone, the well-known Thai beauty and well-being brand, Harnn, celebrated its Singapore debut with the opening of its flagship store at Raffles City. But the excitement doesn’t stop there. Kiehl’s unveiled
eiled its much-anticipated ‘Store of Tomorrow’ at the mall on 9 November, which promises to provide a cutting-edge shopping experience like no other. Throughout the year, Raffles City has witnessed the grand openings of exclusive boutiques that redefine luxury. Acqua di Parma offers a ‘Barberie Service’, Creed’s flagship boutique boasts an extensive range of fragrances and services, while Diptyque invites customers into a world of visual and sensory delight. Givenchy Beauty, Guerlain, L’Occitane, and Sephora have also opened their first stand-alone stores in Singapore, each promising a unique and intimate experience for beauty enthusiasts. As the year-end festivities approach, Raffles City is preparing to dazzle shoppers with a first-of-its-kind Raffles City Singapore x Jo Malone London Christmas tree centrepiece, set to debut in mid-November. To learn more about this remarkable transformation and the vision behind it, we sat down with Steve Ng, the general manager of Raffles City Singapore, for an exclusive interview. The state of affairs According to Ng, the team has been carefully curating the tenant mix at Raffles City to cater to the diverse demographics who frequent the mall, both local shoppers and tourists. “Post-pandemic and since the mall’s rejuvenation, we see more appreciation for physical shopping and interaction amongst our shoppers and tenants. We have also observed a growing demographic of younger shoppers who visit Raffles City for their beauty needs,” he told Inside Retail. In addition, he is also seeing a boom for beauty and fragrance products, in particular, the potential of a growing fragrance market in Singapore. “With this, we continue to welcome more luxury beauty brands opening their first-ever stand-alone flagship stores and debuting their new store concepts in Raffles City to bring more to our shoppers,” he added. With stand-alone stores, he believes shoppers will be spoilt for choice with a wider range of products while the unique experiential concepts provide an opportunity for shoppers to experience the brand in a more personal, innovative and memorable way. An attractive choice Raffles City has welcomed several new-to-market brands, and Ng believes that the mall’s location and accessibility make it a great choice not just for locals but tourists as well. “We also have a strong working professionals demographic from the adjoining office tower and with proximity to the CBD. A slate of exquisite dining destinations and two five-star hotels also allows us to offer holistic and extraordinary experiences,” he said. One recent example is Harnn, the renowned Thai beauty and wellness brand. It made its debut in Singapore with its first store at Raffles City. According to Ng, the new store concept perfectly aligns with the Singaporean wellness ethos. “As a city that values well-being and self-care, the store is a testament to the growing demand for holistic wellness experiences, while offering shoppers a sanctuary to explore, experiment and elevate their well-being journey,” he added. Kiehl’s first ‘Store of Tomorrow’ is another prime example of how a boutique experience has evolved inspired by customer needs and wants. “The store introduces facial treatment services for the first time, a new Kiehl’s Cuddly-Coat Grooming Collection for furry friends and a complimentary deep skin analysis with Kiehl’s Derma Reader Pro Devices from Kiehl’s Skin Pros at the Skincare Academy Bay,” he noted. The big picture According to Ng, shopper traffic has been trending upwards month-on-month since the mall’s rejuvenation, with a steady footfall from local shoppers and tourists. He has also noticed an increased demand for in-person shopping. “In terms of segment demographic, we have seen a new profile of younger shoppers, in particular an increasing number of younger female shoppers who come through to replenish their beauty essentials and purchase beauty gifts for their loved ones,” he explained. Digital touchpoints are becoming an integral facet for the mall to connect with shoppers and build relationships. For example, the mall’s recent Fall/Winter campaign saw a blend of digital-forward activations. “For the first time, Raffles City presented a one-of-a-kind installation where shoppers can shop digitally rendered products on display. Merging the physical and digital worlds, new-season products that were 3D scanned were showcased amidst an animated landscape narrating the future of retail,” he elaborated. Ng said that in the current retail and shopping era, contactless transactions and more self-service options have been rolled out to improve speed and ease of service delivery for an elevated shopping experience. “This is shown at Sephora’s Store of the Future concept where mobile POS is available for a more seamless shopping experience. Waiting time is drastically reduced and it offers more engagement opportunities between the staff and the customers,” he concluded.