Can revamped Shaw Centre bring buzz back to Scotts Road?

Twenty months and S$80 million later, Shaw Centre is all decked out in time to welcome shoppers this festive season. The 42-year-old mall was given a facelift to improve its appeal and pull in a younger crowd, and property consultancy Chestertons say the makeover could also give Scotts Road a much-needed lift.

The new Shaw Centre now has a wider sidewalk and a glass facade. It also has a new Urban Plaza, built over the former terrace public concourse, where red-carpet events can be held.

Inside the mall, the look and feel has also been modernised. The new Shaw Centre has over 11,000 square metres of retail space, and it has achieved leasing commitment for 80 per cent of the space. Polo Ralph Lauren, Nike and SK II Boutique Spa are among the retailers who have set up their flagship stores at the mall.

In order to drive up shopper traffic, more space has been dedicated to F&B. There is a new food court, as well as more upmarket dining options such as the outlets operated by the Les Amis Group. F&B now accounts for 35 per cent of the total space in the mall, compared to 15 per cent before the revamp.

Mr Mark Shaw, executive vice-president of operations at Shaw Organisation, said: “It is really important to have a lot of F&B, particularly because Singaporeans are very food-obsessed, and you know, you cannot eat online. So a good way to combat e-commerce is to have a lot of restaurants and services which require the presence of the consumer.”

Shaw Organisation said three floors were demolished to realign the building with the adjacent Shaw House, to provide a more seamless shopping experience.

Shaw Theatres Lido, which houses Singapore’s largest Digital IMAX Theatre, is one of the key competitive advantages of the mall, said Mr Shaw.

“The renovation has allowed us to bring our rentals more up to current Orchard Road market rates, that has definitely helped a lot,” said Mr Shaw. “In terms of footfall, I think the cinema is really the main driver, as well as Isetan and the unique F&B offerings.”


According to real estate consultancy Colliers International, the average monthly gross rent for prime retail space in Orchard Road was S$36.25 per square foot in Q3 2014.

Analysts said the renovation will go some way to help Shaw Centre stay competitive in an ever-changing Orchard Road retail scene.

Mr Donald Han, managing director of Chestertons, said: “In terms of positioning, they have got it right. They have been there, they are at one of the busiest intersections. It is now about harnessing the traffic into the building, keeping them there to spend.'”

Mr Han added that in the last 10 years or so, the ‘heartbeat’ of the retail district has shifted from the intersection of Orchard Road and Scotts Road to the Bideford Road and Orchard Road junction further down the shopping strip.

However, upcoming developments could jazz things up in the Scotts Road area. “We have now seen the completion of Shaw Centre, Shaw House. Another mall which was the former Orchard Hotel shopping annex, now called Claymore Link, is undergoing a S$30 million retrofitting uplift as well – that should transform the streetscape between Tanglin right up to the Orchard Road-Patterson Road area,” Mr Han said.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 19 Nov 2014

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