A Busy Shopping Mall
The Orchard Road area in Singapore is lined with huge shopping malls catering to shoppers of all ages and nationalities. Out of the myriad shopping centres available, the shopping mall that one cannot possibly miss whilst walking down the Orchard Road belt would have to be Takashimaya Shopping Centre. From the outside, Takashimaya stands out due to its sheer size. The building looks majestic with its twin towers standing tall on either side, and five sprawling floors of endless shopping.
Opened by a Japanese retailer, the shopping mall is fast gaining popularity with tourists and locals and is one of the most talked about shopping centres in Singapore because of its vast range of goods sold under one roof, from luxurious designer items to humble daily necessities. It also has a trendy vibe to it, so young people flock to it at all times of the day.
On a typical Saturday afternoon, Takashimaya draws a huge crowd, ranging from rich 'tai-tai' to groups of fashion-conscious teenagers who are out to see and be seen. The basement area, also known as Takashimaya Square' is the favorite hunting ground for teenagers, probably due to the mammoth-sized screen which displays clip after clip of the latest music videos. Sitting cross-legged in big groups, these teenagers seem oblivious to their surroundings, chatting, joking or just playing cards with one another. Most of them are seen with the latest mobile phones in hand. Chatting with friends physically and texting friends far away seem to go hand in hand. They almost always wear the latest teen fashion that blends seamlessly into the trendy ambiance of the mall.
On the upper floors, tourists and the more wealthy shoppers can often be seen patronizing luxury designer boutiques. For the less brand-conscious, local labels or in-house brands are a hit as they offer good value for money. It is here where families can be seen window-shopping, sometimes with maids in tow. Sometimes, there are families who have brought their elderly parents who slow down the pace of the whole party, but seem to be well looked after. There are buggies available that can take people from place to place, and people make use of this service when they have elderly people with them. The place is so huge that once in a while, there would be an announcement from the information counter of a wailing child being found.
Takashimaya Shopping Centre makes sure that its shoppers have a great time while shopping in its premises. To ensure comfortable shopping, they provide clean toilets at every turn, which are spotlessly clean. Since the toilets are adequate in number, they are never crowded. There are also drinking stations which provide clean drinking water. The floor is very clean, and there are cameras everywhere to catch litterbugs. Not that there is any need to litter the place. There are rubbish bins and recycle bins provided every two hundred yards.
The eating joints at Takashimaya are also a big draw for shoppers who are hungry for a sumptuous meal or a light snack. There are numerous restaurants like Sanur Indonesian Restaurant for those who do not mind paying a little more for great service and comfort. Others who simply want to fill their rumbling stomachs will tuck in at fast-food restaurants or buy some take-away food at the food court so that they can enjoy their food while people-watching. There are all types of cuisines available – Indian, Japanese, Korean, Western, and Chinese, to name a few. The aroma of the food hits your nostrils from far. It is no wonder that this place is always crowded, and often people have to wait long to be served. This leads to some disgruntlement sometimes, with busy customers demanding to be served immediately.
With the great facilities, variety and ambiance, it is no wonder that Takashimaya Shopping Centre is a hit with local shoppers and tourists alike. Its bustling environment with popular music hits being played on speakers makes it an attractive weekend outing for families as well as fashion shopping for youth. Moreover, there are whole sections for goods that are reasonably priced, so it is convenient for many shoppers to do their weekly shopping to stock up on household supplies. Finally, with the crowd-drawing fashion parades or performances at the Civic Centre which is just outside the mall, Takashimaya will always be a hit with anyone, young or old.