I have great love and respect for this island of ours. It is
unique, beautiful and most importantly, homely. Our island has enjoyed
its golden era of prosperity, peace and progress. Sadly, many islanders
felt that the island has reached its peak and it is on its way down the
peak. I firmly believe there is hope and future for our island.
Imagine running our island
like a mall. To attract good crowd (EDB), we got to
build the best accessibility to the mall. Boosted by its natural
geographical location, we have built one of the world’s best airport
(Changi) and seaport (PSA). Beside the mega-structures, we have to open
more routes in/out of the island (SIA). Create a pleasant entrance,
speed up our porters’ handlings, and attract more carriers to park at
our terminals…Bingo! You have the crowd now.
With good location, 24/7 routes, major carriers, free
entry…there shouldn’t be any problem attracting crowds to the mall. But
first, we should attract big retailers who can afford to bring in strong
presence of goods / services (APPLE, IBM, Xerox, Microsoft). Make the
mall an interchange of trades, ideas and cultures. Big retailers are
able to boast the mall’s economy, raise employment and attract crowds.
The mall must be managed by a group of professional (PAP).
First, they must brand the mall well (UNIQUE SINGAPORE). Create an
unique identity about the mall… Make the mall a clean (NEA), safe (SCDF,
SAF, POLICE FORCE), friendly (COURTESY CAMPAIGN), beautiful
(N-PARK) and happy place to be in – for the islanders, the retailers and
the visitors. Set rules, recruit enforcers – so that our mall branding
will be closely followed and practiced.
To entice the retailers, we have to offer big space to them.
Rub their egos, offer free rentals or low-rate packages to keep them for
a long time. Support them with good workers (MOE). Train our natural
resources – the islanders. Identify what kinds of retailers (niche,
profitable ones) that the mall wishes to host – then mould our islanders
into the suitable resources. Education is the best resource maker.
When the space, the price and the human resources are ideal,
the big retailers will start taking up shops in the mall. The retailers
will start employing the islanders…and Bingo! The island is alive with
economic growth. Improve the tenants’ experience, make sure all
facilities within the mall are the best (SMRT, SINGTEL, PUB).
The mall needs to advertise (STB), run promotions to attract
shoppers to the retail shops. Let’s organize (SING-EXPO,
SUNTEC) festivals (food, arts, fashion), shows (aerospace, IT),
conventions and exhibitions. Bingo! Send invitation to the crowd and
they will come to the mall. Expand the mall with good hotel rooms,
attractions (outdoor and indoor), food joints – these are things that
keep our guest occupied and happy.
In the next 20 years, we need to set aside money upgrading our
mall (all aspect, not just the infrastructure…focus on the human
factor). We need to attract more world class retailers to retain our
crowd. As long as there are crowd, there will be employment, business
and growth. Perhaps, it is a good time to setup a good theater
(ESPLANADE), a casino and theme-park (SENTOSA) inside the mall.
The mall is revitalizing (NEW
FLOORS ADDED: EDU-HUB, SPA-HUB, MEDI-HUB, BIOPOLIS, DESIGN HUB, FILM
HUB, CASINO). It is a good time to reward its workers
(SINGAPORE SHARES). The mall will now set aside annual packages for its
citizens. Afterall, the islanders deserved the remunerations and bonus.
Why? Cos’ everyone worked together on a common goal, sharing the same
destiny with the Mall.
What’s going to happen in the next 10 years? Let’s renovate and
innovate the mall. There are many similar malls like ours out there. We
have lost a few big retailers to these malls. Those malls offer bigger
crowd, free rental and more goodies. Sadly, we cannot move this mall to
the crowd. We must always find ways to attract the crowd. At the same
time, we cannot afford to lose any big retailers… Take good care
(FREE TRADE, QUALITY MANPOWER) of the retailers…cos’ without them,
there will be no crowd.
While we are always on the constant look out for retailers…it
is time to create our own local retailers. Park our home grown retailers
to other big malls out there (IE SINGAPORE). Give our home-grown
retailers (CREATIVE, TIGER BEER, OSIM) more support (SPRING). Instead of
training our islanders to tend shops (WDA, NTUC) in our mall, guide
them to open retail shops in other malls.
Offer to setup malls for our neighbors (INDIA, DUBAI, CHINA).
Strike a good partnership and hold shares in their new malls. Park our
best and loyal islanders in these overseas joint. It is time to multiply
Mall Singapore has a good future. It is time to take care of
our retired islanders who have done well for the past 30 years.