My letter to The Straits Times on the above matters is published today, Friday 6th March 2015.
I share the sentiments about keeping Orchard Road alive in the commentary (“Let shoppers walk to keep Orchard Road humming”; yesterday).
With the retail industry facing stiff competition here, I can understand the concerns of some stores that are not securing high sales during Pedestrian Night.
Given that the event itself is popular, with an average of more than 50,000 people visiting Orchard Road on the first Saturday of the month, it would be a shame if the Pedestrian Night had to be called off due to poor business at most of the stores.
Therefore, it is important for the Orchard Road Business Association (Orba) and the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) to come up with fresh ideas that can help boost sales. STB can help to fund some of the suggested proposals that include:
– Setting up makeshift stalls at parts of the road where foot traffic is high. With friendly retail staff manning these booths, people attending Pedestrian Night can be persuaded to buy products
that are in the stores some distance away.
– Stores putting up one- to two-minute advertisements on giant TV monitor screens to promote their products.
– the master of ceremonies can make periodic announcements on goods and services available at all stores to help to increase sales.
Raymond Anthony Fernando