I have seen the future of retail in Singapore and it is big. And looks like any other mall in the U.S. or Australia. Or Malaysia. Or Taiwan. Or Thailand. Or every other country in the world I’ve been to.
But no, just because it’s big doesn’t mean Vivo City is soulless. It’s got a Gap. And my colleague tells me there’s a man-made beach on the roof, where you can pretend you’re not several storeys off the ground kicking sand into the kid’s face next to you. I wouldn’t know. I didn’t get to the top floor. And even if I did, I wouldn’t have found the feature without a GPS.
If you drive, there’s the cavernous car park to negotiate. No, wait. There’s the driveway to the car park where you wait an eternity before you see the electronic signboard telling you that there’s one car lot left, then none, then one, then two, then none again.
About a week later, you get out of your car and make your way to a lift lobby, labeled ‘Q’. This gives you an indication of how big the place is going to be, because you can’t see where lobbies A to P are.
Don’t bother trying to figure out where Lobby Q is in relation to everything else, because they’re not in the business of making that easy to figure out. The staff at the information counter were very helpful though, telling me where the nearest OCBC and UOB ATMs were (not in Vivo City), and that Lobby Q was near the bridge linking Vivo City with Harbourfront Centre.
Later on, after the movie we were watching ended, Naomi and I found ourselves following the other cinema patrons through a labyrinthine series of un-windowed corridors and stairs, and out onto the street outside the building. To get back into the shopping area, we had to take an escalator to the basement before we took another up to the first level.
All this while, I kept thinking if the were, God forbid, a fire, or worse, there’d be mayhem and chaos, because in a building as complicated in layout as this, mayhem and chaos are always lurking somewhere waiting for a fire or worse.
But morbid thoughts aside, there was this dentists’ clinic near Lobby Q that irked me just because it was called ‘Dental On The Bay’. There was a vacant shop space next to it of similar size, which I think would be suitable for a psychiatrist’s practice called ‘Mental On The Bay’.
But I suppose you can’t stop people from using names and suffixes just cuz it’s fashionable now. I mean, in the 80s and 90s, there was a slew of shopping malls with names ending with ‘Point’, because ‘Centrepoint’ was really the place to be then. Chinatown Point, Causeway Point, Compass Point, Jurong Point, Orchard Point (next to Centrepoint) and North Point are cases in point.
Oops, I have just realised from extended research that the above-written malls (except Chinatown Point) are named so because they belong to the same parent company, Frasers Centrepoint Malls, but I’ll never let hard facts get in the way of a good point. Never!
OK, so, as I was saying…
Vivo City’s really great cos there’s the first and only Gap store in Singapore.
And here’s my favourite Gap webpage: