Update: Big Box has ceased operations.
Following the success of Singapore’s first retail park at Tampines where Ikea, Giant and Courts are situated and barely weeks after the opening of NTUC FairPrice’s Warehouse Club @ Joo Koon, here comes Big Box, a lifestyle retail mail that has opened for business since Saturday.
Located just next to the Jurong East MRT Station, Big Box joins the existing cluster of shopping malls (JCube, Jem & Westgate) that offers a brand new shopping experience to consumers with a new concept of “Stores in Store” in a warehouse-like environment that makes it a one-stop shop to get everything we need in one place. Possibly with lower prices too as it claims.
I visited Big Box on their second day of opening and I felt like I had walked into a war zone, lol. The thing is, Jurong East is already teeming with plenty of residents and in fact, it’s probably one of the busiest towns in Singapore. With this new addition of yet another mall and the soon-to-open Ng Teng Fong General Hospital, I’m sure people will be squashed like sardines in the time to come. Despite that, it’s probably still good news to avid shoppers like me as it just means we have more options for our weekly retail therapy.
Big Box is open to all and doesn’t require membership to make purchases. However they currently have this membership drive from now till 31 March 2015 where you can purchase an annual membership at S$50 (with S$35 stored value in card) that entitles you to further discounts, deals and access to special events.
On Level 3, there is the Living Box that’s dedicated to home furnishing so we can see a huge array of furniture from different stores & brands on display. Unlike some furniture stores that have a ‘no-sitting’ policy for their sofas or beds, over here you can do whatever you want with no one to stop you just like in Ikea.
The furniture pieces are cleverly categorised by designs or themes (for example, outdoor living, country-style or modern contemporary) so that makes it easy for us to pick out what we want depending on the style we prefer. I also spotted a section on BBQ grills.
Prices wise, they probably cost the same as in the respective brands’ retail outlets.
There is also a Sleep Academy with a huge selection of mattresses and bedding products.
A 800-seater food court, Yummy Box is located on the same level. Pretty much like a regular food court with the usual local cuisines.
Moving on to Level 2, I was captivated by Habitat, a French home furnishing brand that first appeared in Singapore in the 1990s but exited in 1996 due to poor business. Their collection of household accessories is just amazing. So chic and tasteful. I’m so going to gradually replace my home stuffs with these beautiful pieces in the time to come! Objective for 2015, yes, lol.
The Electronics Box is the Best Denki or Harvey Norman equivalent at Big Box. TVs, sound systems, fridges, washing machines, IT products and what not. And just adjacent to this is another section that sells gifts and novelties where I spotted some lovely maritime-themed decor items and vintage knick knacks too.
There are also a cafeteria and a burger joint, Big Burger on the same level.
Also spotted Silver Box which sells geriatric products like home care equipment, mobility aids, etc.
On Level 1, we see Style Box which is like a departmental store (similar to John Little or OG) with fashion & accessories catering to men, women and children, household products and more. On the right hand side of this same stretch is Leisure Box that sells travel, outdoor and sporting goods.
Munchy Box is a cafeteria that sells local eats like kaya toast, soft-boiled eggs and coffee/tea.
Spanning outside the hypermarket is this Food Street that sells sushi at 50 cents per piece and an assortment of finger foods, snacks, desserts and fruits. I got to try this hotdog set (1 hotdog + 1 soft drink) at just S$1.50 which is similar to what Ikea offers except that there is no free flow of condiments or drinks here. Only packets of tomato ketchup are given to go with the hotdog. Taste wise, it was ordinary and very much forgettable. But at such a price, where’s there to complain, really.
Chocolate Box with an assortment of chocolate products obviously.
HI (Home Improvement) Box is like a more comprehensive handyman store with gardening tools and a Nippon Paint section. The Warehouse Mart is their hypermarket…
…that looks like a warehouse, similar to NTUC FairPrice’s Warehouse Club. This hypermarket is really big and apparently it also has the largest selection of frozen foods in Singapore.
Interesting finds near the checkout counters would be these coupons for services. You can purchase tuition, music lessons and tyres here as well as…
…entrance tickets to attractions in Singapore and bus rides to Malaysia. How convenient.
There is really a lot to see in this mall but because it’s so new and so crowded with people (really noisy too!), I find it too hectic and tedious to move around without having to rub shoulders with people. Hopefully when the hype dies down a little (soon), I will return again probably on a weekday as I’ve yet to thoroughly explore the hypermarket.
1 Venture Avenue
Tel: 6801 6688
Opening hours: 10.00am to 10.00pm daily
Have you also visited Singapore’s very own ‘Costco’ – the new Warehouse Club by NTUC FairPrice at Joo Koon where you can buy fresh food and groceries in larger portion sizes and enjoy savings by buying in bulk? Click on the link to read more.