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GoSpree app gives GSS a timely reboot

This year's Great Singapore Sale (GSS) has a mobile app, the first time organisers are venturing into the digital sphere.

The GoSpree app allows retailers to dangle e-coupons for use at physical stores during the June 9 to Aug 13 sale.

They can also use geo-location to alert nearby shoppers to flash deals.

Each participating retailer will get a unique QR code. The idea is that users go on a treasure hunt for these codes, scan them with the app and bag deals.

This reboot is timely and much needed. Launched in 1994, the annual event helped cement the city's reputation as a shopping paradise.

But after three straight years of declining sales, experts and industry players called for a revamp last year.

This app could be just the reboot the GSS needs, but it will work only if there is buy-in from retailers.

Several participants have been announced, and talks are under way for others to come on board.

Many more will need to do so for shoppers to find the app worthwhile.

The flash deals, e-coupons and discounts on the app will also need to be good ones. It will not do to clear old stock or offer half-hearted discounts.

Instead, retailers should see this as a chance to get creative and reach out to a different audience.

It is time for retailers to step up - the slow economy, competition in the region and success of e-commerce have given traditional retailing a beating.

This is the chance for them to fight back with technology.

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