Orchard Road

Quick quiz for you.

What do the following names have in common (presented here in random order)?

  • Chanel
  • Lancôme
  • Prada
  • Louis Vuitton
  • Calvin Klein
  • Hermès
  • Tony Birch
  • Gap
  • Gio Armani
  • Gucci
  • Dior…?

OK, sure they’re all high end stores. But the other thing in common is that you can find these stores, and a LOT more, on Orchard Road here in Singapore.

If this road doesn’t have it, from a personalized engraved silver toothpick to a launch supply vehicle for the International Space Station, then you don’t need it.

OK, maybe the launch supply vehicle is a bit of a stretch. But I think the point is made.

And people from the stores have no shame in walking right up to you, shake your hand and offer a look “… at the fine selection of merchandise we have here. What size would you like, sir? Oh. Not here for long? Perfectly fine. Here’s my business card. See the web page. Order online and we will express it to your door.”

(Quick aside: If someone calls me ‘Sir’ one more time I’m going to blow a gasket..!)

I know how all this works. I’ve done enough sales jobs in my day. Establish rapport (handshake with eye contact), create a desire (shows the goods), asks for the sale (What size…?), handle objections (“See web page…”) and so forth.

You almost feel bad about brushing them off.

(I will admit, though, that I find this constant haranguing tedious.)

Walking up and down the road I began to see a pattern in display advertising.

In almost every case, the women in the ads were of Caucasian origin or Asian made to look like Caucasian. I’m not sure what that means, frankly.

By the way, Orchard Road Shopping Area is not just the road, there are stores and malls on all the major cross streets. I don’t know how they’re all making money, there are so many stores selling the same stuff. One underground mall just off Orchard Road had about 10 stores all selling the exact – and I do mean exact – same thing.

But the merchandise in this case was cell phones & assorted peripherals. No launch supply vehicles, I’m afraid.


Busy place Thursday morning

Busy place Thursday morning

Big names everywhere


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