With Singapore’s wish to establish and sustain its status as a nation with burgeoning nightlife, it has spent much effort in forging an active clubbing night scene.

However, one area of neglect is to have major shopping malls open later into the evening instead of closing prematurely at the godforsaken early time of 9.00pm or 9.30pm. And by major shopping malls, I refer to the malls along Singapore’s premier shopping district that is Orchard Road, such as Paragon and Takashimaya, not just Mustafa Centre (Singapore’s only 24-hour shopping centre till date, which sells mid-range products at cheap prices and is located away from the city area).

With tidal changes in the lifestyles of Singaporeans, late-night shopping ought to be the norm, instead of the exception that is marketed as a weekly event.

The implementation of the five-day work-week has resulted in students staying back in schools later into the day with their co-curricular activities and extra tutorial commitments. Similarly, professionals are knocking off work later and later into the evening as well. All this translates into a lack of retail time should shops continue to close early.

Great Singapore SaleThis is especially so with the current Great Singapore Sale (GSS), a prime opportunity to milk the wallets, of both incoming tourists and local Singaporeans alike, dry.

How is Singapore going to gain an edge as a retail haven over regional shopping districts which offer a wider range of products at cheaper prices continue to baffle me. Furthermore, shops in these districts such as Hong Kong and Taipei open later into the night catering for the late-night shopping crowd. True that they may open later in the day instead, but who’s complaining?

It is apparent that crowds flock to shops later in the night as opposed to earlier in the day, evident from observing crowd flow along Orchard Road.

With the impending opening of the Integrated Resorts and the annual Formula One race promising to draw a flurry of crowds to our sunny garden city, many tourists could find themselves disappointed with the minimal amount of time there is for shopping, or, for the lack of activities to do after shops close at 9.30pm and before midnight, when crowds start to pack local clubs.

Instead of writing off late-night stragglers, why not offer them the opportunity to shop by opening doors slightly later, till about 11.00pm instead?