Glitzy Orchard Road malls are losing the critical battle for shopper traffic

Locals prefer sub-urban malls.

In the feverish race for shopper traffic, Orchard Road's large shopping complexes are losing out to their humbler sub-urban counterparts.

A report by Colliers highlighted that malls in Orchard Road are falling behind decentralised shopping centres when it comes to attracting local shopper traffic.

“With convenient access to shopping and dining options at suburban malls, residents no longer need to venture to Orchard Road for daily necessities, retail variety or F&B choices," said Chia Siew Chuin, Director of Research & Advisory at Colliers International.

This situation exacerbates the country's lacklustre tourist arrivals, as Orchard Road malls depend heavily on visitor spending.

"The recent fall in tourist arrivals has had an impact on the malls in Orchard Road. Retailers are making inroads into sub-urban areas to extend their reach where there are sizable residential populations. More upmarket brands are also sprouting up in decentralised areas, especially designated growth areas like Jurong East,” she added.

The average monthly gross rents of prime retail space in Orchard Road decreased from $35.83 per sq ft in the first quarter to $35.25 per sq ft in the second quarter.

This reflected a fall of 1.6 per cent quarter-on-quarter by the end of June 2015, after having already dropped 0.9 per cent in the March quarter.

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