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Shopping in Singapore is better than Paris
Secret shoppers rate the prettiest, most welcoming, most customer-friendly retail streets -- which is your no. 1?
How many shopping trips truly turn out to to be the idyllic experiences your friends promised they would be?
Presence Mystery Shopping, a Paris-based market consulting company, thinks it has found 30 places that really truly can offer shopping heaven. It has published a report ranking the welcome and service for the world’s most famous shopping streets.
“We surveyed the quality of retail service on iconic shopping streets that tourists are told they just need to visit,” says Presence Business Development Manager, Leslie Kambourian.
Over 30 main avenues were visited, and nearly 400 individual retail outlets were observed, including perfume shops, restaurants, ready-to-wear outlets and showrooms.
Orchard Road in Singapore came out in first place, Avenue de la Liberté in Luxembourg followed in second and PC Hooftstraat in Amsterdam took third spot.
The “mystery shoppers” ranked their experiences based on observations in four categories:
- Appearance (cleanliness, lighting)
- Welcome (staff greetings, courtesy, availability)
- Atmosphere (garbage cans available, open space, clean pavement)
- Contact with passers-by (friendliness, helpfulness to people passing through the store)
Got your own favorite shopping areas? Tell us about them in the comments.
World's top 10 shopping avenues and their scores out of 100
1. Orchard Road, Singapore: 89
According to mystery shoppers, Orchard Road led with the best atmosphere because of its “wide and clean pavements and diversity of shops.”
But tourists won’t be able to sweep every shop in one day; the whopping 22 shopping malls and six department stores on the Road might wipe them out.
2. Avenue de la Liberté, Luxembourg: 85
This avenue placed first in overall appearance. “The atmosphere is perfect, there is plenty of room and everywhere is well lit," says a mystery shopper.
If you suddenly have an urgent situation where you need to see a praline specialist, visit the Jeff de Bruges. This chocolate expert has whatever chocolates you need, spicy, soft, creamy, fruit and rich.
Jeff de Bruges, 17 Rue de la Liberté - Guéliz, 40000, +33 (0)3 87 37 15 61
3. PC Hoofstraat, Amsterdam: 83
The district of PC Hoofstraat was noted for its friendliness, retail outlets were courteous and welcoming to the people walking by the store, creating an inviting atmosphere.
But, there is always backlash with a bit of popularity. The local Dutch refer to Sports Utility Vehicles as “P.C. Hooft-tractors.” It’s a derogatory term because you can find one on every corner.
4. Bagdat Avenue, Istanbul: 83
Shoppers thought Bagdat Avenue was a winner in appearance because of its “floral areas, collective taxis and water sellers.”
If you want a traditional Turkish coffee that won’t break the budget on a high-end street, look no further than Starbucks. The American chain has properly integrated Turkish style coffee on its menu to blend in with Istanbul’s café culture.
5. Oscar Freire, Sao Paolo: 82
Brazilians are known to be among the friendliest people in the world, so it’s no wonder this street came in as the third most welcoming.
Don’t be surprised if you walk into a luxury store and find the odd “ in-store butler” who will hand you a glass of Champagne or coffee.
For a mid-shop snack, try some locally made fresh baked goods at the Casa de Paes (Bella Paulista House of Bread). The bakery offers gelato, pizzas, confectionaries and other guilt-less pleasures you grant yourself on vacation.
6. George Street, Sydney: 82
Beyond the friendly department stores and brightly lit boutiques, there are many quirky little shops at the southern end of George Street.
Nestled under the Sydney Harbour Bridge, there are boutiques selling everything from high-end art and photography to nick-knack shells and shark teeth.
But if you're in the mood for up-scale, the beautiful old sandstone Queen Victoria building is home to top-end fashion stores and cafes. The building sits next to the Sydney Townhall building, the iconic steps are a common meeting place for locals.
7. Mariahilferstrasse, Vienna: 80
Stretching 1.8 kilometers, the avenue places third in the “appearance” category, and it's not just its shops that are commendable. There are some noteworthy historic buildings to visit nearby.
Check out the Museum Quarter which holds a variety of outstanding contemporary art and classic modern pieces. Also, look out for the iconic Rahlstiege staircase from 1886.
Museum’s Quarter, Museumsplatz 1/5 1 1070 Vienna, Austria
8. Avenue Louise, Brussels: 78
Scoring points for out-of-store atmosphere, this shopping street has a peaceful Nirvana nearby in the form of the Jardin Du Roi, (Garden of the King).
True to its name, the garden has a perfectly manicured geometric bushes and stunning flower designs.
Jardin Du Roi, Avenue Louise, 1050 Brussels
9. Ginza Line, Tokyo: 78
There’s been enough written about Ginza over the years to wallpaper every eye-wateringly expensive hostess bar in the area, but there is actually more to the high-end shopping, eating and drinking. At Ginza, you can look to the streets for inspiration.
Given a free Sunday afternoon, few things give a visitor a glimpse of the real Tokyo as readily as a stroll down the temporarily pedestrianized Chuo Dori.
Stripped of cars between noon and 5 p.m., the main strip is the spot in the capital for people watching, lounging at pavement cafés and generally freeloading your way to a memorable day out.
10. Bond Street, London: 77
If you’re heading over to Bond Street, make sure you’re not just going for a leisurely stroll. The report writes “Bond Street in London is by far the last for its atmosphere. It is certainly clean, but there is work going on all the time.”
The mystery shoppers came across construction on 63 percent of the visits. On the bright side, shoppers say that the friendliness of Londoners make people forget the work going on in the avenue.
World's best shopping avenues, 11-30
11. Aleksanterinkatu, Helsinki: 77
12. Passage Victor Emmanuel, Milan: 76
13. Strøget, Copenhagen: 75
14. Wangfujing Avenue, Beijing: 75
15 Alvear, Buenos Aires: 71
16. Champs Elysées, Paris: 71
17. Drottninggatan, Stockholm: 71
18. Apgujeong-dong, Seoul: 71
19. Karl Johan, Oslo: 70
20. Calle Serrano, Madrid: 69
21. Friedrischstrasse, Berlin: 68
22. Ulica Florianska, Krakow: 67
23. Nevsky Prospekt, St. Petersburg: 67
24. Ermou Street, Athens: 65
25. Rue Ste Catherine, Montreal: 64
26. 5th Avenue, New York: 64
27. Avenida da Liberdade, Lisbon: 61
28. Rue du Rhône, Geneva: 59
29. Des Voeux Road, Central, Hong Kong: 57
30. Linking Road, Bandra, Mumbai: 56
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