Why The Shoppes At Marina Bay Sands In Singapore Remains One Of The World’s Top Retail Destinations

There’s always a flurry of activity in Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands at the height of the festive season, and The Shoppes are certainly no exception. This month alone has seen the unveiling of a new YSL Beaute kiosk concept, the appearance of a Dior Beauty boutique Christmas pop-up, and the transformation of The Shoppes’ interactive light installation—Digital Light Canvas by teamLab—into a Yuletide-themed digital Crystal Tree.

Gucci’s refreshed flagship store spans two levels at The Shoppes, Marina Bay Sands.

With a plethora of festive gifting ideas splendidly displayed at The Shoppes, illuminated by Marina Bay Sands’ annual Christmas Light-Up (this year’s installation features a first-time collaboration with Dior Beauty), the world-famous shopping destination has laid out a masterclass in luxury retailing. At the forefront of The Shoppes’ retail offerings is Hazel Chan, senior vice president of retail at Marina Bay Sands, who has been integral to the creation and delivery of an unparalleled shopping experience at such an iconic landmark.

Hazel Chan, senior vice president of retail at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore.

Ever since Chan joined Marina Bay Sands as director of retail leasing in 2011, the ensuing years have seen her helping to implement many significant changes within The Shoppes. One of the most noteworthy projects was the completion of a three-year strategic retail remix in 2015, which introduced an assembly of duplexes and triplexes for numerous high-end brands, as well as a luxury children’s precinct. “I was very much looking forward to taking on the challenge!” Chan exclaims, when asked how she responded to the task of transforming Marina Bay Sands’ retail division. “The Shoppes has the luxury of close to 800,000 square feet (74,322 square metres) of retail space. This meant that my team and I were faced with endless possibilities when determining the ideal line-up of retailers to suit the demands of the ever-evolving retail landscape.” Consistent change is something that Chan welcomes, such as the 2019 conversion of one of two theatres into KOMA restaurant and MARQUEE nightclub by Tao Group Hospitality. Just as tenants expand their retail footprints or reinvent their client experiences with curated merchandise assortments and unique activations, she hasn’t shied away from redeveloping existing spaces into new attractions, dining and nightlife concepts.

KOMA Singapore at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands.

“Having witnessed how the integrated resort (IR) has transformed over the years, the IR concept has been a winning formula for us to be an all-encompassing destination with business, dining and leisure all under one roof,” Chan says. “From family-friendly attractions to interactive pop-up showcases, The Shoppes is constantly reinventing its programming and spaces to deepen engagement with shoppers.” Needless to say, this approach—with its remarkable ability to excite new and returning visitors—has been a hit with international and local shoppers.

CUT by Wolfgang Puck, Bar and Lounge at The Shoppes, Marina Bay Sands.

Chan also points to Marina Bay Sands’ retail strategy, which focuses on catering to a diversified global audience by bringing in a steady stream of global brands with first-to-market retail concepts. The first boutique of Parisian designer label Ba&shs in Singapore was recently unveiled at The Shoppes, along with the newest flagship boutique of Kids21—complete with an experiential boutique space featuring designers such as Thom Browne, Christian Louboutin, Caroline Bosmans, and Rick Owens.

Mott 32 Singapore at The Shoppes, Marina Bay Sands.

With such a wealth of shopping options available, perhaps the most pertinent question to ask Chan is for her own personalised guide to exploring The Shoppes. “If you haven’t already been, do visit AMAFF’s first boutique in Asia Pacific for an exclusive scent journey, or discover the latest trends at Acne Studio’s first boutique in Southeast Asia,” she suggests. “Then, explore our grand assembly of 19 luxury duplexes while taking in the resplendent Christmas lights this season. I would also recommend a visit to Ralph Lauren’s first luxury concept boutique and the adjacent Ralph’s Coffee—a first in Singapore—as well as Bacha Coffee Fashion Avenue.

Louis Vuitton Island Maison at The Shoppes, Marina Bay Sands.

“You also shouldn’t miss architectural marvels such as the Apple flagship and Louis Vuitton Island Maison!” Chan continues. “We encourage visitors to indulge in our extensive array of dining options in between retail therapy, and to explore a variety of award-winning celebrity chef restaurants, rooftop bars and waterfront dining. Families can hop on a sampan ride, get creative at Digital Light Canvas, or catch a musical at the Sands Theatre—all located within the premises of the mall.”

Marina Bay Sands

Photography by: Marina Bay Sands and Gucci

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