Mindset shifts, consumers’ evolving needs and demands, innovative retail solutions, and the rise of online shopping – these are just some of the reasons brick and mortar businesses have to constantly reinvent themselves to stay relevant.
As with the changes in the retail scene, the concept of shopping malls has also evolved. Today, the mall is no longer just a place for transient transactions. Every visit to the mall provides opportunities for the community to gather, create new memories and enjoy exciting experiences.
While malls remain an integral part of the social fabric in Singapore, it is important for us to continuously innovate to future-proof our business.
Causeway Point first opened its doors in 1998, positioned as a one-stop shopping, dining and entertainment hub. Find out how the mall has evolved over the years and continue to remain relevant and top-of-mind for shoppers today.
Causeway Point in the 1990s
In the late 1990s, Woodlands town, comprising the Woodlands and Marsiling estates, was populated by young families who had just moved into the newly completed Housing Development Board (HDB) flats in the area. Located in the heart of Woodlands Regional Centre, Causeway Point is the largest mall in Woodlands.
With Woodlands MRT just beside the mall, traffic in the area was brisk. However, the challenge was in gravitating the crowds into the mall.
Part of the mall’s strategy to drive footfall into the mall was to have strong anchor tenants at every level to draw them into the mall, which would also retain crowds at various areas of the mall. The inclusion of two departmental stores, Metro and John Little, across levels 1 to 3, as well as Cold Storage and Courts on the basement level and level 4 respectively, ensured each level had a strong tenant offering to draw crowds.
Beyond that, the wide spectrum of products offered by these anchor tenants were a strong pull for the growing Woodlands community, and Causeway Point enjoyed strong footfall.
Woodlands over the years
Throughout the early 2000s, more HDB flats, condominiums, and education institutions such as Republic Polytechnic, sprung up in the area, contributing to the changing demographics of shoppers visiting the mall.
Over the years, the average Singaporean household income also increased, contributing to higher spending power of families. The children of families who continued to stay in the area have also grown into young teens or working adults.
Causeway Point’s rejuvenation
Interior of the mall prior to the AEI
From 2010 to 2012, Causeway Point underwent an asset enhancement initiative (AEI) to upgrade the mall’s amenities and refresh its tenant mix. Going beyond just the refurbishment of the property's façade and premises, the configuration of the mall was reviewed and changed.
Ongoing communication and feedback from the mall’s tenants helped to influence some of these improvements.
Molly Lim, Senior Vice President, Head of Retail Properties said, “Our conversations with our tenants gave us insights into how we can better serve them. For example, we learned of the optimal size that works for them. This led to us to relook at the use of space to improve their trading efficiency.”
To better serve the Muslim population in the area, a Halal food court was also introduced on level 7 to offer more food options.
After the AEI, Causeway Point had more than 200 tenants, an increase of about 30%.
A new mix for the new times
There are many factors that contribute to the success of a shopping mall and getting the right tenant mix is a critical aspect. Over the years, several new tenants and brands were introduced to the mall.
In the past few years, the management at Causeway Point has progressively brought in several new tenants and brands into the mall.
The retail mix targets the suburban family crowd and tertiary students. It predominantly consists of casual fashion, health and beauty, jewellery, household, and F&B tenants.
For example, many Singaporeans are always on the move and are looking for a quick meal to-go. Wok Hey, a takeaway kiosk specialising in Chinese stir-fry cuisine has opened in Basement 1. It joins other takeaway options such as Boon Lay Power Nasi Lemak, and Tenderfresh Xpress to serve this growing need.
The ever-growing popularity of Korean and Japanese culture in Singapore has influenced the mall to bring in popular lifestyle brands such as Shine Korea, Etude House, Innisfree and Uniqlo. On the F&B front, café and dessert bar Chateraise, and restaurants such as Seoul Yummy, Daessiksin, and Kuriya Japanese Market have also made its way into the mall’s tenant mix.
One of the latest additions to the mall is beauty emporium Sephora, offering shoppers a greater choice of beauty and lifestyle products at the mall.
The opening of Teo Heng KTV Karaoke Studio also added a new stream of entertainment for families in the vicinity.
With these new additions to the mall, Causeway Point is currently working on an underground pedestrian link to Woodsquare, an upcoming mixed development located just opposite the mall, which will encourage foot traffic and provide greater convenience to shoppers and residents.
Through thoughtfully curated new-to-market concepts that add a sense of novelty to our mall offerings, it allows our retail offerings to stay exciting, relevant and top-of-mind.