Appeared as 'Retail revival' (Time Out Singapore May 2009)
Time Out Singapore previews the two new shopping behemoths along Orchard Road
First published on 6 Aug 2009.
It’s been a while since our fabled road of retail has had any new additions; in fact, it’s been a decade since a completely new shopping destination has been unveiled along Orchard Road. Ironically enough, given the current gloomy climate, the Little Red Dot is set to gain two new malls in the next two months, boasting a combined total of 853,000 square feet, 20 levels and over 800 stores of shopping paradise. Yes, it is excessive but it’s a bit too late to complain now. Here’s a sneak preview of what to expect beyond shops, shops and more shops come June and July, when the vertiginous, 12-storey Orchard Central and designer flagship haven ION Orchard throw open their doors.
- ‘Cluster-concept’ shopping divided up into unimaginatively named sections like The Runway and Indulge, just so you can zone in directly on what seduces you most – whether it is youth-appeal street cult labels, or extravagant, eye-popping timepieces and jewellery along the 140m Discovery Walk that links the mall to Somerset MRT station.
- What’s a wall for, if not for climbing? Orchard Central boasts Singapore’s first indoor, five-storey rock-climbing wall so you can put those adventure-related buys to the test immediately.
- The Med at basement 2, a complete level that showcases all things Mediterranean-themed, from sharp apparel to spicy slices of pepperoni pizza. Charming Italian men not included.
- Speed is of the essence when it comes to snagging best buys. That’s why they’ve installed three superescalators and six express lifts moving between 500 and 2,000ft/min – not that you’ll notice thanks to the cabin pressure. Still, it does bring shoppers to their floor of choice in double-quick time. And with 12 floors to peruse, swooshing devices like these really help bring in the shopping haul.
Where: Orchard Central, 227 Orchard Road
- ION Sky, a double-storey observation deck on the top two floors of this 56-storey building (sorry folks, the other 48 floors are dedicated to a luxury living complex), allows you to cast your bargain-trained eye along the axis of retail that is Scotts Road, Orchard Road and beyond. This free view will be a welcome respite after eight floors’ worth of frenzied shopping. You’ll have to wait a while, though – ION Sky doesn’t open until late 2010.
- A ‘media membrane’, a 117m ‘skin’ that wraps round the complex, will broadcast telecasts of events and shows, while ION2, the largest sheltered area on Orchard Road, will play host to national parties and the all-important weekend roadshow. This is about a lot more than just shopping.
- Art, and lots of it at the 5,300 sq ft ION Art level, where Opera Gallery has been confirmed as a tenant.
- It’s double the fun with duplex flagship stores. Expect to find the lavish luxuries of Cartier, Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Giorgio Armani, Louis Vuitton, and Prada, as well as the dependable staples from Topshop/ Topman, Uniqlo and Zara – phew.
Where: ION Orchard, 2 Orchard Turn