Published on 28 Jul 2022

Wider variety of tenants crucial for Clarke Quay's success: Experts

Adj Assoc Prof Lynda Wee says artisanal and craft stores that bank on Singapore's heritage would match the area's historical riverfront environment.

A wider variety of tenants will be crucial for the new CQ @ Clarke Quay to successfully evolve from a nightlife hot spot to a lifestyle hub, said retail experts, as current tenants plan offerings to attract daytime traffic.

Besides having breakfast and lunch options and a supermarket, family-friendly entertainment such as cinemas or play areas, co-working spaces for the office crowd, and tourist-friendly services such as money changers and boutique spas could help to attract regular footfall, they told The Straits Times.

CapitaLand, which owns and manages the property, announced on Tuesday that the nightlife hangout will undergo a year-long $62 million revamp, and be repositioned as a day-and-night destination.

Dr Seshan Ramaswami, associate professor of marketing education at Singapore Management University, said the move to turn Clarke Quay into a 24-hour attraction is risky, given the current manpower crunch and the time it will take for tourist traffic to return to pre-Covid-19 levels.

He said: "So whether a mall-like area can find enough demand through the day and night to justify the opening hours is a little doubtful, at least at this time."

He added that CQ @ Clarke Quay will compete with nearby Clarke Quay Central shopping mall and Robertson Quay, which are open during the day as well.

Mr Amos Tan, assistant director of Singapore Polytechnic's School of Business, said the tenant mix must be different from what is available at the heartland malls to give consumers a reason to travel to Clarke Quay regularly.


He said: "For example, if they want to attract young families, then there has to be daytime options that would encourage them to visit maybe once or twice a month. These could be play areas for children or a mini theme park, family-friendly F&B (food and beverage) options, or even a movie theatre."

Dr Lynda Wee, an adjunct associate professor from the division of marketing at Nanyang Business School, said artisanal and craft stores that bank on Singapore's heritage would match the area's historical riverfront environment.

Mr Tan said that given Clarke Quay's central location, the area has been underutilised. "The place is so close to the CBD (Central Business District) and Fort Canning, it does make you wonder if it has more potential than just being used for nightlife."

Current establishments at Clarke Quay, including F&B operators Harry's, Brewerkz and Warehouse, said they hope the rejuvenation will help bust the area's reputation as a place for young partygoers.

Mr Nasen Thiagarajan, chief executive of Harry's International, said the revamp will help the all-day F&B brand's outlet draw lunchtime traffic and boost its early evening trade.

Mr Rob Coldman, owner of Warehouse and Verve Restaurant Group, which runs Verve Pizza Bar at Clarke Quay, said the outlets will expand their operating hours to accommodate full-day dining. Both establishments currently open at 5pm daily.

Brewerkz executive director Tan Wee Tuck said: "We hope the revamp can replicate some of the success we are seeing around the Marina Bay area, which is filled with locals, tourists, office workers and people exercising all the time."

Zouk Group chief executive officer Andrew Li said he welcomes the revamp as new concepts will keep the area fresh.

The group's daytime offerings may include fitness concepts and expanded food menus. For example, its lounge and restaurant Capital Kitchen will ramp up its food menu and offer brunches.


Source: The Straits Times