updated 19 Feb 2012, 05:00
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Fri, Dec 16, 2011
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The Great S'pore Shopper
by Sheela Narayanan

IF SHOPPING was an Olympic sport, Singaporeans would win their first gold medal.

After all we train for it every single day of the year. From window to online shopping, our motto seems to be: Have credit cards (and cash) will buy. And buy some more.

A new shopping study about Singaporeans' online shopping habits did not come as a surprise to me.

The survey conducted by The Nielsen Company on behalf of Visa found that one in five Singaporeans shopped online while at work. See, we are also a nation of multi-taskers.

Since Christmas is upon us, you will find malls along Orchard Road packed to the gills as Singaporeans whip out their charge cards and cash to make retail merry.

And god help you during a sale. We are Type A shoppers. I have seen grown women wrestling over a pair of shoes. It was not pretty.

Nothing is sacred in the land of shopping and everything is up for grabs.

We are also international shoppers par excellence. On my last visit to the US to visit my sister and her family, I was taken to a premium outlet centre, or factory outlet as they are known here, which was about a two-hour drive from their suburb on the East Coast. On the way there, we, the kiasu Singaporeans, planned our shopping day so when we hit the premium outlets, we would hit it hard.

By the time dusk had settled on us some seven hours later, I was tired but triumphant.

I lugged home among other things bedsheets from an American designer label (they were a really good deal). And like a good Singaporean, I had a tinge of regret; I should have started earlier to grab more deals.

Singaporeans can even go to a small town in Malaysia where there could be just one tiny shopping centre to speak of and they will still shop.

We talk about our shopping exploits unashamedly, pump fellow shoppers for tips and scan online for more deals (hence the multi-tasking).

The phrase "shop till you drop" was made for us, although exhaustion is never an excuse to stop shopping.

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