Expect not only a bigger shopping experience but also a better one at Marks and Spencer (M&S) new flagship store at Wheelock Place.
The 30,000 sq ft space - previously tenanted by Borders before it shut last year - is double that of its previous outlets on the basement levels in the same building and allows the iconic British retailer to showcase its most extensive range of products ever in Singapore.
The Wheelock flagship is also the ninth store to open after M&S first established its business here over half a century ago.
"We've been in Singapore for more than 50 years now so there is a very strong connection to the brand in this market; some of our customers still remember us as St Michael's," remarks Jan Heere, international director of M&S, referring to the name they first operated under when it opened within a John Little store in 1958.
The new street-level store, with windows facing strategic high-traffic spots in the prime shopping belt of Orchard Road signals M&S's intention to be a major player in high streets around the world and follows the opening of a similar store on Champs Elysees in Paris late last year.
"It's a statement of where we want to be," emphasises Mr Heere.
He adds that the stiff competition on Orchard Road is a challenge they'll take on because it puts pressure on businesses like theirs to raise their game and deliver to the customers the right products at the right prices.
Plus Mr Heere is confident M&S is able to offer enough points of differentiation around quality, value, innovation and range to make them a unique retailer even on the busiest shopping streets.
Among the new features of the Wheelock makeover is an effort to communicate the products in the right way and bring out the identity of each brand in its own dedicated space via a store-in-store concept.
For example, to capture the edginess of Limited Collection, there's an illuminated catwalk at its section while at Collezione, the use of a Vespa as a prop shows off the range's Italian inspiration.
"We give each of them a specific environment to make it easier for the customer to understand the trends and collections," says Mr Heere.
"The visual merchandising focuses on outfit building and better communication to the customer on how to wear it."
Also making its debut here are three new bath and body beauty collections - Ragdale Hall, Spa Collection and Le Maison de Senteurs.
Foodies are also in for a treat with the store's new-look food hall which aims to strengthen M&S' position as a specialty food retailer.
"Food is a very important part of M&S' business - that's what makes us a very different sort of retailer on the high street scene," stresses Mr Heere.
"People here love their food so they will talk about our socks or shirts but at the same time, they will also talk about our jams or crumpets or wines."
On offer are many items previously unavailable here and the expanded range now spans over 800 products to include traditional British favourites, specialty international food, pre-cooked gourmet meals and a comprehensive range of award-winning wines from all over the world to complement it.
"Our ambition here is to bring a wider range (of items) from our catalogue in the UK and make them available for our customers here," says Mr Heere.
"Everyday we're adding more lines so the more we can get, the happier they will be."
Also housed within the Foodhall is M&S' first bakery in Singapore, serving a range of freshly-baked specialty breads, pasteries and cakes.
"It adds a sense of theatre to the store and the smell definitely makes it very attractive," says Mr Heere.
With 127 years of history in retail, over 700 UK stores and more than 380 international ones across Europe, the Middle East and Asia, Mr Heere reveals that M&S is currently undergoing a modernisation programme to cater to a younger customer base.
The use of top model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Hollywood actor Ryan Reynolds in the brand's Autograph Spring/Summer 2012 campaign and the new format of the Wheelock store are examples of that evolution in action.
"Singapore is our oldest market in Southeast Asia so there's great awareness for M&S and what we want to do now is to bring more excitement to it, whether it's through the Foodhall or new brands like what's happening here today at Wheelock Place," says Mr Heere.
"I'm very pleased it's happening here because it's a very competitive market... It's great to be able to deliver (that through) this store and set the trend for the future both here and internationally."
This article was first published in The Business Times.