Perhaps it’s age. Perhaps it’s my bank account. Perhaps, just perhaps, there’s simply nothing worth buying at the Great Singapore Sale any more.
Especially when everywhere I’ve been any day of the week across the length and breadth of Singapore, in classy new malls and tired HDB centres, for longer than I can remember, I’ve been coming across sale signs that promise anything from “up to 70% off” to “everything must go.”
This explains why in response to the query — “So going to sales after this?” — from my friendly lady doctor at Raffles City , after picking up another OK medical check-up report, I said: “I don’t shop in Singapore any more.”
Which, strictly, isn’t the whole truth.
I buy a lot of medical products, mostly for my mother. I buy a lot of medical services too, again mostly for my mother. She’s 85 after all and i want to do my darndest to keep her going for as long as Johnny Walker has been going, if fate and destiny permit.
I also spend a heck of a lot on food at our wet markets, supermarkets, food courts and mid-range restaurants, and for special occasions, swanky and somewhat pretentious restaurants.
Money goes on wine and social club bills as well. In addition, two constant big ticket expenditures are the car and the maid for my mother.
Further, regular sums go to utilities, personal hygiene and beauty items, unavoidable taxes (where applicable) and a smidgeon to charity causes, especially for the hungry old and sick.
So what is there left for discretionary splurges on clothes, shoes and handbags? Why should I wait for the GSS when any time I want, and must replenish, I can find special offers practically everywhere I go. Like for my preferred brands of footwear — Hush Puppies and Scholl.
For casual wear, unless one can’t live without top brand names, there are plenty of cheaper look-alike alternatives. For the less pricey labels like Zara, Chomel and Madam Butterfly, I certainly don’t need to wait for GSS to get the desired bargains, assuming I desire their bargains.
I can afford to buy Kipling and LeSportsac from their official outlets in Singapore but the prices of their items, even when on sale, are sometimes 10 times what i’ve loaded up on while travelling that I’ve resisted, with a couple of exceptions, from buying them here.
And frankly, I can’t really tell the genuine stuff that I own from what i buy from abroad, which because of the steep price differences are always assumed to be knock offs. But really, who knows? And who cares, so long as I didn’t pay top prices thinking I was buying the real McCoy, only to discover that I bought a fake.
Talking of abroad, any clothes I’ve had tailored for myself in the last five years, have been tailored abroad — as close as Kuala Lumpur where a friend’s maid doubles as a nifty tailor, to as far away as Hoi An and Shanghai.
For the ultra cheap off-the-peg clothings which i used to pick up from open air bazaars while travelling, I now do just as well at a no-name outlet at Block 27, at Bendemeer Road, just outside Boon Keng MRT station.
Tops and bottoms are priced between $1.50 and $3, cheaper far than at any of the budget departmental stores here or abroad and our yesterday’s cheapies like This Fashion.
With globalisation, cheap-cheap airfares and fantastic networks and connections and Singapore being such an open economy, it’s not as if we are starving for bargains.
So GSS, you are as last century as when you started… when? 20 years ago?