Business Times - 13 May 2009
Mandarin Gallery at 85 per cent occupancy
By ZHANG YI TING
MANDARIN Gallery, the high-end Orchard Road mall now undergoing a revamp, reported an 85 per cent occupancy rate yesterday - five months ahead of its re-opening in October.
Nearby Orchard Central, which is set to open in June, said last month it was 65 per cent taken up.
And another upcoming mall, Ion Orchard, had leased out more than 80 per cent of its space by March, four months before its July opening.
At a price tag of $200 million, the revamped 190,000 sq ft Mandarin Gallery will feature a 152m frontage along Singapore's prime shopping street and five flagship duplexes swathed in floor-to-ceiling glass windows.
It has already attracted several international fashion brands including Hugo Boss and Mauboussin, which will open flagship stores, as well as new labels like Trioon by upcoming local designer WeiLing Liu.
'The Mandarin Gallery proposition has resonated well with tenants and we are glad to report that we are well on target with our lease projections,' said Patrina Tan, senior vice-president of retail, marketing and leasing for Overseas Union Enterprise (OUE), which owns the mall.
OUE started by defining a core customer base, then sought out specific brands, she said. 'Essentially, our strategy is not to sell space on prime Orchard Road but make our prospective tenants understand how being at Mandarin Gallery will be of relevance to their business.'
However, faced with unfavourable economic conditions, Mandarin Gallery has joined the ranks of Orchard Central and Ion Orchard in using the tried and tested marketing strategy of rent rebates to sweeten the offerings.
'In the first quarter of 2009, when the economy started to feel the impact of the meltdown, we reviewed the terms of tenants on a case-by-case basis and made adjustments, including rent rebates and marketing collaboration assistance, to realign ourselves with their revised projections,' said Ms Tan, who declined to disclose figures.