GSS goes beyond shops and sales
This year's event goes sensorial and social, with local designers and immersive experiences at its centre
From straightforward shopping sales to a total sensorial and social overhaul - that is the name of the game of this year's GSS: Experience Singapore.
Leveraging on the successful legacy of the past 25 years of the Great Singapore Sale, the rebranded campaign is a response to the evolving retail landscape, changing consumer preferences and competition from e-commerce.
Kicking off today till July 28, this year's rendition of the annual sales fest is the first cross-collaboration with agencies such as One Kampong Gelam (OKG), Restaurant Association of Singapore and Textile and Fashion Federation.
It is still owned and organised by the Singapore Retailers Association (SRA), which has been spearheading the GSS events since its inception in 1994.
Ms Rose Tong, SRA's executive director, told The New Paper at yesterday's GSS: Experience Singapore press conference held at Design Orchard: "In the previous 25 years, we had few activities and depended solely on retailers to come up with sales and discounts.
"But given the highly competitive retail environment right now, we need to meet the demands of today's experienced city shoppers and rejuvenate the lifestyle sectors."
She added that the country has a solid reputation as a top shopping destination but needs to "move ahead" by "reinventing the wheel".
One of the unique features of GSS: Experience Singapore is its heavy concentration on local talents.
Ms Tong said: "GSS: Experience Singapore is a platform that can thrust our local brands and local talents to the fore. This, in turn, cultivates our future retail and F&B leaders."
Other lifestyle industry leaders concurred on the shifting retail landscape here.
It is why OKG has been roped in as a key segment of GSS: Experience Singapore.
The area holds a special role as one of Singapore's most prominent cultural and historical hot spots.
Mr Omar Alattas, council member of OKG and managing director of Alattas Group, said: "We want shopping to become an adventure - immersive and transformative."
With the activities that will be held at Kampong Glam from July 5 onwards, such as the nostalgia-themed car boot sale and various traditional arts performances, visitors can "physically immerse themselves in the creation of a product and identity".
Those at Kampung Glam can even embark on tours of the area, evidence that GSS is being taken beyond the ordinary retail spheres.
Setting the tone for GSS: Experience Singapore is a never-before-seen fashion show that literally stops traffic.
On the Orchard Road Fashion Scramble set to take place at the Cairnhill-Grange-Orchard Road intersection, Ms Ho Semun, chief executive officer of the Textile and Fashion Federation, said: "We thought that the best way to capture people's attention is to have a fashion walk, which always creates excitement and interest in a product."
She also highlighted the decision to focus on local designers this year, with works by students from Temasek Polytechnic closing the show.
She said: "Schools are the pipeline of talents coming into the industry. By showcasing our young talents, we will shine a spotlight on the local fashion brands of our future."
Organisers and participating brands alike hope that the dynamic offerings of GSS: Experience Singapore will draw consumers out of their homes and into shops.
Ms Tong said: "Brick-and-mortar stores are here to stay. All these activities aim to bring back the joy of physical shopping, which is at its heart a social experience."