JAPAN and China holds the potential to be the strongest source market for Singapore during the Great Singapore Sale (GSS) period, which comes to a close this weekend, according to findings by market research consultancy Kadence Singapore.
Respondents from Japan and China indicated they were “highly likely” to fly to Singapore during the period. The two markets also showed greatest awareness, with 85 per cent and 84 per cent of people, respectively, indicating their knowledge of the retail event.
Explaining the findings, Patrick Young, Kadence Singapore’s insight director said that the Japanese are more avid travellers in general. The fact that many airlines ply between Japan and Singapore also contributed to the result.
Additionally, the price of airfares may also be factored in seeing as travellers for the GSS are likely to be deal-savvy individuals. This means the availability of low-cost flights could also affect traveller decision making processes.
The appointment of UnionPay as the official card for this year’s GSS shows that the Singapore Retailers Association, organisers of the event, are stepping up efforts to lure more Chinese shoppers to the city-state as well.
However, the retail scene in Singapore has been sluggish, with year-on-year retail sales figures for June, the month when the GSS usually begins, being on the decline over the past two years, according to Singapore’s Department of Statistics.
Retail business outlook is also dim. While the July-December period is expected to see an improvement of 7 per cent over the April-September period in terms of net weighted balance, the July-December period is predicted to see a sector performance of negative 8 per cent compared to the same time last year.
Young suggests taking into account “certain nuances between the countries” so that brands taking part in the GSS can better cater to individual markets and thus boost their allure.
“For the Japanese there is a big focus on omiyage, which is a culture of taking home a souvenir for friends and family. So how much is the GSS tailored to these small but significant items that the Japanese will buy?”
“It’s not so much tying in with UnionPay or a similar brand, it’s more about having in your portfolio products which can relate to that market,” he added.
Young also cited the upcoming Singapore Grand Prix as a good example of how an event is able to better lure visitors by going beyond its core demographic.
The annual racing event attracts not just sporting fans but a large number of international visitors by staging concerts, parties and family activities. The GSS could do something similar to lure arrivals beyond shoppers alone.
“What else can we do to broaden the GSS beyond sales?” he said.
GSS 2016 runs for 10 weeks from June 3 to August 14 this year, the longest sale period for the annual event to date.