Retail therapy never looked this good at the plush and luxurious surrounds of The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. Considered Asia’s leading shopping destination, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands reeks with class and refinement, not to mention the latest trends and most up-to-date fashions. Shopaholics and fashionistas are placed in their element at this designer haven where every international luxury label and upmarket fashion brand is represented. From Louis Vuitton to Tom Ford, Phillip Lim to Proenza Schouler, Prada to Bulgari, if your Black Amex card can flex it, then you can have it. Luxurious Magazine speaks exclusively to John Postle, the man in charge of this ultimate shopping destination and finds out why it is touted as Asia’s premier shopping destination.
Mr. John Postle, Vice President of Retail at Marina Bay Sands oversees the property’s Retail Management and Development. He has 21 years of experience in the retail development and property management and is currently responsible for all aspects of The Shoppes’ operations and strategic operations. John’s vast experience in the retail sector sees him play an integral role in charting the direction of The Shoppes. Under John’s stewardship, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands has seen a very vibrant and positive growth momentum since opening. Today, the mall is not just a shopping haven for guests looking for a bespoke shopping experience but it also has the most number of luxury duplexes in Singapore. Many of these brands, such as Bulgari, Cartier, Dior are operating their largest stores in Singapore, right here at The Shoppes. Prada is also operating its first triplex in The Shoppes, with an entire level dedicated to menswear.
LM: Tell us about the concept behind The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands and how does it distinguish itself from other shopping destinations in Singapore?
JP: The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands is Singapore’s first large-scale luxury shopping mall in the heart of the Central Business District. As Asia’s premier luxury shopping destination, we offer Singapore’s largest collection of renowned luxury brands under one roof, with some of the world’s most beautiful flagship stores such as the world’s first Louis Vuitton Island Maison.
What sets us apart from other shopping destinations is our breadth and depth of luxury retail offerings, new-to-market labels and most of all, an under-one-roof concept. Boasting the largest collection of international luxury fashion, watch and jewellery labels (with some being these brands’ only flagship boutiques in Asia), The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands is the one-stop destination for luxury shoppers in Singapore.
LM: What kind of experience does a shopper get when they go to The Shoppes in MBS?
JP: From unique concept stores such as the beautiful Louis Vuitton Island Maison housed in one of the two Crystal Pavilions, to intimate bespoke services and personal shoppers, we offer an unmatched premium shopping experience for consumers seeking the extra personal touch.
Most importantly, shoppers are guaranteed quality and comfort that comes with shopping at the flagship stores here, of which many also carry limited edition items and services that are not available anywhere else outside of The Shoppes.
To further enhance the retail experience, the mall also plays host to hallmark events such as the annual watch and jewellery event, as well as fashion week. These unique events not only put us at the forefront of luxury, they also bring different experiences to our shoppers and give them an added reason to return.
LM: What is the idea behind the huge duplex and triplex mega-stores in The Shoppes? Is bigger always better?
JP: Since opening, we have seen a very vibrant and positive momentum in our business, as well as growing interest from key luxury retail brands to expand their presence at The Shoppes, from single units to duplexes and even triplexes. Today, we have the most number of luxury duplexes in Singapore, of which many are the brands’ biggest stores in Singapore.
Brands such as Bottega Veneta, Bulgari, Burberry, Cartier, Chanel, Dior and Miu Miu have expanded their retail spaces from single units to duplexes. Prada has further grown its presence at The Shoppes, and has its first and only triplex in Singapore, with an entire level dedicated to men’s wear. Other upcoming duplexes slated for completion this year include Dior, Dolce & Gabbana and Saint Laurent.
The expansion allows for these premium brands to carry their full suite of products and services, as well as exclusive lines that are only available in Singapore.
LM: What is the strategy for future retail offerings at The Shoppes?
JP: In addition to the ongoing development with luxury brands increasing their footprint in the mall, we are also expanding options for childrenswear. In addition to the first Baby Dior in Southeast Asia, Ralph Lauren Children – the brand’s first dedicated children’s boutique in Singapore – as well as the soon-to-open Fendi Kids.
In all, the Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands is well poised to capture the vast growth opportunities in luxury retail.
LM: Tell us about the Men’s Collection at The Shoppes?
JP: The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands is attuned to the demands of luxury seekers, especially with discerning male shoppers forming a growing portion of fashion and accessories shoppers today. With more than 70 standalone and mixed label men’s boutiques, the luxury shopping destination’s repertoire of men’s ready-to-wear – known as “The Men’s Collection at The Shoppes” – caters to the rise of the well-heeled male shoppers. In addition to carrying limited edition products, many of the boutiques also offer bespoke experiences exclusively available at The Shoppes.
Examples include Italian menswear Brioni (1st standalone boutique in Singapore/Southeast Asian Flagship), Hugo Boss (with a brand new concept store), Prada (a dedicated men’s space), Balenciaga (first standalone boutique with men’s offering), Boggi Milano, Church’s and Tom Ford (new-to-market).
LM: How do you think The Shoppes MBS have changed the retail landscape in Singapore or the entire region?
JP: The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands received an award for “Best Shopping Experience” in the recent Singapore Experience Awards 2014, organised by the Singapore Tourism Board. It is a great honour to be recognised by the Singapore Tourism Board and distinguished industry stakeholders for bringing a truly compelling shopping experience to Singapore.
It has also been a very fruitful journey working with so many of our retail partners in elevating their success in Asia. As we progress into our fifth year, we continue to explore opportunities to grow with our partners and offer innovative ideas in the retail mix. We are buoyed by the momentum of The Shoppes and will build on this energy to cross more milestones in the years ahead as Asia’s shopping destination.
LM: You have extensive experience in the retail sector, what in your opinion draws people to a shopping destination like a mall and why do you think malls are so popular in Asia?
JP: As part of an integrated resort, The Shoppes also receives hotel guests and visitors who are here for other attractions such as the museum, theatres and F&B offerings. With its iconic architecture and integrated resort concept, Marina Bay Sands has not only become the tourism icon in Singapore, it has elevated Singapore on the global map and especially in the region. Whether it’s dining, entertainment, business or shopping – it’s hard to find a more striking and compelling destination like Marina Bay Sands anywhere else in Asia.
Interview conducted by Ong Chin Huat