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Wed, Aug 11, 2010
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$1.2 billion spent by MasterCard cardholders during GSS 2010

Singapore – The Great Singapore Sale (GSS) 2010 concluded with a 28% increase in total spend by both local and tourist MasterCard cardholders.

The total spend over the two-month period of the GSS (28 May - 25 July 2010) was US$893.2 million (S$1.21 billion), as compared to the US$697.7 million (S$944.8 million) spent in the same period last year (29 May – 26 July 2009). The total number of transactions rose 18% to 7,197,885 this year.

Visiting MasterCard cardholders spent US$313.9 million (S$425.1 million) with 1,704,538 transactions made during the Sale. Both the total spend and number of transactions went up by 26% as compared to the same period last year. Cardholders from the US, Malaysia, Australia, Indonesia and Japan continued their spend momentum as the top spenders for GSS 2010 since the first weekend.

Spend by Singaporean MasterCard cardholders went up 29% to US$579.3 million (S$784.5 million) with a 16% increase in the number of transactions to 5,493,347. This indicates that on average, local shoppers have increased the amount spent per transaction during the Sale as compared to last year. This trend is in contrast to last year’s Sale, which highlighted that local shoppers made a larger number of small-ticket item purchases.

Making a difference to this year’s GSS is MasterCard’s Purchase with Purpose TM initiative, the platform for MasterCard’s social responsibility and citizenship efforts in the APMEA region. Purchase with Purpose enables cardholders to play a part in giving back to the community when they use their MasterCard cards. For GSS 2010, MasterCard committed to contributing half a cent to Singapore Children’s Society with every transaction made with a MasterCard card during the Sale. MasterCard will round up its contribution to a whole figure of S$40,000 (US$29,538) to Singapore Children’s Society.

“The encouraging figures from MasterCard, the official card for the GSS, have helped provide insights to the post-crisis retail scene in Singapore. Savvy and upbeat consumers have contributed to the Sale by taking advantage of the many attractive privileges and promotions put together by the industry. Through this, the Sale has continued to appeal to both tourists and Singaporean consumers. The success of the GSS 2010 is evident and we hope that next year's Sale will continue to attract shoppers from all over the world,” said Lau Chuen Wei, Executive Director, Singapore Retailers Association.

"It is heartening to see the increase in tourist retail spending during the GSS. This positive outlook is underscored by our rising tourist arrivals which in July, crossed the milestone figure of 1million visitors in a single month. We are delighted that Singapore's retail scene have benefitted from the spike in our arrivals. The success of this year’s Sale also reinforces our confidence in the GSS being a highlight in our events calendar while adding to the attractiveness of Singapore as a shopping destination for tourists.” said Andrew Phua, Director of Precinct Development at the Singapore Tourism Board (STB).

“This year’s GSS shows the rebounding consumer confidence contributing to the buoyant retail scene in Singapore. Retailers have not taken the return of consumers’ spending power for granted though, and we have worked with them to provide ever better retail perks for both local and visiting shoppers. MasterCard’s Purchase with Purpose initiative this year also allowed MasterCard cardholders to contribute to a worthy cause with every swipe of their card during the Sale. It’s a win-win situation for all this shopping season,” said Julienne Loh, vice president and Country Manager, Singapore, MasterCard Worldwide.

The top three spend categories for Singaporean cardholders were Eating Places and Restaurants, Grocery Stores and Supermarkets, and Department Stores.

Cautious yet a little more confident consumers have increased spending at Eating Places and Restaurants by 22%, Grocery Stores and Supermarkets by 29% and Department Stores by 9%.

Outside of the top three spend categories, Electronics and Clock, Jewellery, Watch and Silverware Stores proved to be top draws for Singaporean cardholders as well. Local consumers bought US$13.7 million (S$18.6 million) and US$19.2 million (S$26 million) respectively worth of goods during the Sale which translated into a corresponding 29% and 22 % increase from the previous year during the full GSS period.

Top categories of spend by Singaporeans (excluding spend on accommodation and airfare):

Category No. of transactions % change vs. corresponding period in 2009 Aggregate Transaction Amount % change vs. corresponding period in 2009
Eating Places and Restaurants 766,247 11% US$48.5 million
(S$65.7 million)
Grocery Stores and Supermarkets 395,304 24% US$24.6 million
(S$33.3 million)
Department Stores 246,465 -3% US$20.1 million
(S$27.2 million)

Indonesian and Australian cardholders recorded a considerable increase in spend (45% and 30% respectively) compared to the same period last year. US cardholders remained the top tourist shoppers during the Sale, spending US$43.2 million (S$58.5 million), while Malaysian cardholders came in second, spending US$33.5 million (S$45.4 million).

Shoppers from Australia were the next biggest spenders, registering US$30.3 million (S$41 million) on their MasterCard cards during the Sale. Indonesian cardholders spent a total of US$ 29.8 million (S$40.1 million) taking fourth place and the Japanese fill the last spot in the Top 5 markets in terms of tourist spending with US$25.9 million (S$35.1 million).

Top 5 markets in terms of tourist spending:

Market No. of transactions % change vs. corresponding period in 2009 Transaction Amount % change vs. corresponding period in 2009
United States of America
(1st last year)
141,728 -20% US$43.2 million
(S$58.5 million)
(4th last year)
173,579 57% US$33.5 million
(S$45.4 million)
(2nd last year)
221,552 -4.5% US$30.3 million
(S$41 million)
(6th last year)
158,004 -70% US$29.8 million
(S$40.1 million)
(5th last year)
172,888 25% US$25.9 million
(S$35.1 million)

Americans spent the most on Eating Places Restaurants while Department Stores scored with the Malaysian and Indonesian tourists. Duty Free Stores were the choice for Australian shoppers and while tourists from Japan preferred to indulge in Health and Beauty Spas.

Market (Top spend category) No. of transactions Aggregate Transaction Amount
United States – Eating Places Restaurants 14,982 US$1.1 million
(S$1.5 million)
Malaysia – Department Stores  10,617  US$1. 4 million
(S$1.9 million)
Australia – Duty Free Stores  15,657  US$1. 4 million
(S$1.9 million)
Indonesia – Department Stores  16,701  US$2.2 million
(S$3 million)
Japan – Health and Beauty Spas  2,624

 US$1.5 million
(S$2 million)

Overall, dining continues to dominate the top spend category for both local and tourist cardholders with a total spend of US$56.6 million (S$76.6 million), an increase of 23% as compared to the corresponding period last year.

Clock, Jewellery, Watch and Silverware Stores were draws for shoppers this year as spend in this category went up 15% to US$28.8 million (S$39 million), taking the second spot in the top spend categories. Department Stores remain a consistent draw for shoppers taking third place with US$28.8 million (S$39 million), an 8% increase from last year.

Top categories of spend by both Singaporeans and tourists (excluding spend on accommodation and airfare):


Category No. of transactions % change vs. corresponding period in 2009 Aggregate Transaction Amount % change vs. corresponding period in 2009
Eating Places and Restaurants 858,656 11% US$56.6 million
(S$76.6 million)
Clock, Jewellery, Watch and Silverware Stores 44,284 -9% US$28.8 million
(S$39 million)
Department Stores 317,407 -3% US$28.8 million
(S$39 million)


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