The retail industry is kind of in shambles right now.
The scene has changed dramatically in the past few years. The most obvious shift, of course, is that of people turning to online shopping, causing a global “apocalypse” in industries like fast fashion and publishing.
But that’s not to say that it isn’t tough for e-commerce. It may be easier than ever to just set up a website and start selling stuff, but that makes the competition especially stiff.
What’s more, Singapore is in an “almost-recession” right now, so it’s even harder to get us to part with our cash. The result? A ton of shopping festivals and very, very attractive discounts.
9 Sale festivals for shopping in Singapore
From online festivals to warehouse sales, here’s a list of popular sale seasons and events in Singapore for the biggest discounts.
|Singapore sale event or season||What’s on discount||When is it|
|NATAS Travel Fair||Travel packages, flight tickets and other travel-related products||February/March and August/September (2X a year)|
|Great Singapore Sale (GSS)||Everything||June to July|
|National Day||Everything||9 August|
|Singles Day 11.11||Online retailers||11 November|
|Black Friday and Cyber Monday||Everything||November|
|Warehouse expo sales||Thematic, depends on the fair||Almost every weekend|
|Cultural season sales||Clothes, furniture, appliances||Chinese New Year, Hari Raya, Deepavali, etc|
|Department store sales||Everything||Depends on the store|
|IT Fairs||Consumer electronics||Depends on the fair (COMEX, SITEX, IT Show, The PC Show)|
1. Great Singapore Sale (GSS)
The Great Singapore Sale (GSS) is Singapore’s biggest shopping season that happens right around June to July every year. This is an islandwide sale and most brands — on- or offline — participate in it.
If you want an “official” overview of all the discounts and merchants, download the GoSpree app by Singapore Retail Association. Otherwise, you can check with the banks — during the GSS, many banks tie up with merchants to offer additional credit card perks.
For those who prefer more casual shopping, you can just take a walk down Orchard Road — most (if not all) of the big departmental stores and shoppings usually participate.
The GSS 2019 is already over, but for an idea of the typical promotions, check out our article on The Great Singapore Sale — Best Credit Card GSS Promotions Right Now.
2. Black Friday & Cyber Monday sales
Traditionally, Black Friday is a post-Thanksgiving sale for brick-and-mortar shops. Cyber Monday is a part-2 sale, devoted to online shops.
That may still be the case in western markets where Thanksgiving is observed, but in Singapore, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are kind of mashed up in that both on- and offline stores take part in the entire sale weekend.
Most brands that have offline shops have e-shops too anyway. This year, Black Friday will be on 29 Nov 2019. Stayed tuned for updates on the sales!
For now, here’s how last year’s sale was: Black Friday Sales & Promo Codes — 14 Shops For The Best Discounts
3. Singles Day 11.11 sale
Ah, the legendary 11.11 sale. It’s now a massive e-commerce sale event all over the world, but for those who don’t know, the 1-day festival actually originated as a celebration for #foreveralone singles in China.
It’s even inspired spin-offs like 9.9 and 10.10 sales, which are (honestly) quite ridiculous. Those are nowhere near as large in scale — the discounts are not as good — but it’s annoying to see the retailers try their luck anyway.
4. NATAS Travel Fair
There may not be a “best” time to book your a la carte flights, but there certainly is one if you’re looking to buy a packaged tour — during the NATAS Travel Fair. The NATAS fair happens twice a year in Feb/Mar and Aug/Sep, usually at Singapore Expo.
NATAS stands for the National Association of Travel Agents Singapore, and which explains how they can hold a huge event that gathers all the travel agencies in one place. Not just that, there are usually airlines, hotels, and other travel-related booths as well.
The previous NATAS fair was in Aug 2019. In addition to discounts, there are also other freebies and lucky draws. The most recent grand lucky draw prize was a pair SQ business class tickets to London + $100 pocket wifi voucher + 1 pair of Sentosa Fun passes.
5. Cultural season sales — Chinese New Year, Deepavali, Hari Raya and more
Generally, traditions surrounding occasions like Chinese New Year, Hari Raya and Deepavali involve buying new clothes and sprucing up your home, which is why just about every retailer joins in the fun.
The best part is that Singapore is a melting pot of cultures, so even if you’re not participating in said festivities, you can still benefit from the ongoing sales.
For example, I don’t celebrate Diwali, but thanks to the sale, I managed to buy a few pieces of IKEA furniture for cheap.
6. Department store sales — Robinsons, Takashimaya, Isetan, etc
There isn’t a particular “season” for this one, but there are quite a few popular department store sales.
Firstly, there are the members-only sales. These are usually reserved for members, who get to shop 1 to 2 days before the sale opens to the public. I can’t speak for all of them (because I’m not a member everywhere), but my mum is a Robinsons member and she always gets first dibs during their closed door sales, which are actually quite attractive. I also know of many aunties who love the OG family sales.
Next, there are the annual anniversary sales. This is to celebrate the department stores’ birthdays. For example, it’s in September for OG and March for Robinsons.
Lastly, there are those atrium fairs and sales. These are usually much smaller scale and not storewide. Instead, they’re thematic events. For example, a beauty fair selling cosmetics, or an electronics fair selling household appliances. This applies to seasonal festivities like mooncake festival as well. Takashimaya’s mid-autumn festival fair is the most popular of them all.
You can usually find updates to these sale events on each department stores’ Facebook pages.
7. Warehouse expo sales
Sale events at the Singapore Expo and other convention centres are also super popular. You’ve probably heard of the big electronics and travel fairs (as listed here), but did you know that there are actually warehouse sales almost every weekend?
From furniture to motorcycles, read more about expo sales in our article: Singapore Expo Events — 8 Upcoming Fairs with Cheap Deals.
8. Singapore National Day sales
Every year in August, the nation gets clad in red and white in celebration of Singapore’s birthday. Prices get slashed, and discounts are usually tied to Singapore’s age.
For example, this 2019 we turned 54 years old, so many of the promotions included $5.40 deals and 54% off discounts.
Singapore’s birthday is over for this year, but you can still check out the sales for an idea of what to expect next year: Singapore National Day Promotions 2019: Celebrate With 10 Special Discounts & Deals
9. COMEX, SITEX, IT Show and other IT fairs
And what sale listicle is complete without the iconic consumer electronics sales? Tech gadgets are expensive, so it’s little wonder that many Singaporeans wait for trade shows to buy new laptops, cameras and more.
There are 4 main IT fairs: COMEX, SITEX, IT Show and The PC Show. Most items are discounted, but for those that aren’t (like Apple products, for example), don’t worry — there are usually bundles and lots of freebies thrown in.
It’s also a great time to touch, feel and test products if you aren’t sure which exact brand and model you like best. During these fairs, everything is consolidated in one huge event.
Have any more sales or shopping festivals to recommend? Tell us in the comments below.