- < $20
- < $50
- < $100
- < $200
- < $400
- > $400
Isetan is a departmental store which sells many house hold items. More than just that, they do have small branded boutiques within the store. They do provided many services such as bulk purchases, gift wrapping as well as reservation of items. Isetan is conveniently located at five locations island-wide.
About a month ago I visited the Parkway Isetan in search of some office wear that I needed, seeing the racks upon more racks of clothing made me shudder in horror because some of the designs looked like they have been plucked out fresh circa from the 1980. The middle-aged sales assistant was very nice though, helping us through the various styles and dealing with my fussy teenage self who even refused one particular blazer because "the side pockets were fake". She at one point even took of her own blazer to help show me how a smaller-sized blazer would fit because a lot of the blazers there did not fit my tiny frame.
However, there are always some rotten apples that spoil the metaphorical barrel. There was one instance where I had gone to the same aforementioned section, looking for a white oxford shirt. The sales assistant there practically rolled her eyes in disgust at us when we asked if a particular style of oxford shirt was available or not. She had a very impatient demeanour all through our brief conversation and almost flat-out refused to help us at all! Thus, whether you get a nice sales assistant is really a game of Russian roulette, sometimes you get the nice friendly ones and sometimes you get the snappy, rude sales assistants.
As for product quality, the two white oxford shirts that I had bought have lasted until now, though I have only worn them for about two occasions. Though my mom isn't too crazy about the office wear there, as she claims some of the blazers we were shown were of not too great quality. All in all, I would say if you are looking for a more affordable wardrobe and aren't too fussy about the finer intricacies blazer cuts and fake pockets, Isetan is a good place to start hunting!
I've bought a clutch from one of the lesser-known counters two years ago and it still works fine, so don't be too quick to dismiss the products not displayed fancily. If you're looking for fresh cuts of meat, the Isetan Delicatssen is the place to go. I also tend to get my Japanese food ingredients here, because Isetan has one of the widest selections I've ever seen. You should definitely visit Isetan for the clothes and food products.
Buying Japanese food items was a big challenge for me because I was not able to read Japanese and most of the Japanese food items sold in Isetan only had Japanese words on the packaging. If I was lucky, some would have a small label in English on the packaging. I mainly depended on the pictures on the packaging and the size of the packaging or the feel of the contents to find the correct ingredients. Most of the times, I got all the ingredients correctly. There was only once I got something that nobody knew what it was and we didn't how to use it in our sushi.
Isetan also retails a variety of Japanese items, ranging from cookware to toys and crockery. The Supermarket in the basement of Shaw centre also sells the largest variety of Japanese food items compared to other places, and they also frequently hold events where they sell Japanese food from different parts of Japan, like Hokkaido and Sapporo.
Perhaps one thing you can try to catch at Isetan Shaw Centre is the way the store opens, similar to in Japan, there is a bell, and the staff open the door to greet you, and as you pass by they bow to you, making you feel like a VIP. It is truly a Japanese shopping experience at Isetan.
You can buy great stuff here from home decorations and kitchen needs but you really must have patience in roaming around Isetan and asking the sales lady what you exactly want. Moreover, the sales people are really helpful and friendly. They use their 12 face muscles very efficiently to give you a smile even if you do not buy anything. Isnt it a refreshing sight?
Sure, Isetan does have some segments retailing boring work wear that isn't even worth the rummage, but it also houses fashionable street brands like Mango and Levi's. Whenever I hit Isetan, I always make it a point to visit the section for Billabong, and even though the items displayed in these sections are nothing compared to the sheer variety in the flagship stores, the items featured are usually the best of each season's collections, and worth the look all the same.
The snacks section at Isetan is amazing too. Since Isetan hails from Japan, there are often cute little Japanese snacks on display, and it can be really hard to resist putting them into the cart.
Don't diss Isetan for what it looks like just yet; It's really quite an amazing place.
Whenever I happened to be within the vicinity (along Orchard that is), I never fail to step into the basement of Isetan at Shaw. The supermarket is really a Japanese food heaven where you can find an assorted of Japanese imports, ranging from instant noodles, frozen food (such as frozen ramen anyone) or fresh seaweed. Many of the staff and customers are Japanese, judging from the language they speak, giving the place an additional Japanese feeling to it.
If you happened to be in there during the weekends, like I've been last Saturday, you will be amazed with the numerous stalls setup for food sampling. I tried the 100% apple juice, ramen, cheesecake and various other quirky Japanese food product as I did my rounds last Saturday. If you're around the area and happens to be itching for a bite, instead of buying the regular snacks, you can try touring this supermarket for all the food samples. By the time you're out, the craving for snacks should have been eased without spending a dime!
For a Japanese foodie like me, this supermarket really beats the others hands down.
I myself bought 3 pairs of working shoes during the closed door sale event. They were on 50% discount and I only paid about $50 for each pair. Considering that they are of good quality and are very very comfortable. Their cosmetics and perfumes were on great discounts too.
Look out for their closed door events and make sure that you are there if you want to catch some awesome deals. That is only if you're a card member.
Whenever I am at the NEX outlet, I head straight for the back of the first floor, because that's where the nicer pieces of clothing for men are, although the prices are steeper, so I'd like to check out that area. Most of the clothing seem to lose various sizes by the time I check them out though, so I assume they should be the relatively more popular section.
Despite being a store that caters to all your clothing needs, I'd rather hunt for individual stores that could possibly sell nicer clothes, and possibly cheaper. Unless you couldn't care less about how you dress, make Isetan a backup place to look for your clothing needs. If you really want a store with a larger variety of clothes, Tangs would be a much better choice.
So imagine my weeping joy when I found out that Sanrio resides in a happy pink place in NEX's Isetan. I just received my Isetan membership after spending half of my salary on FOX Kids' new collection and was getting ready to leave when I saw Heaven's light but in pink.
Needless to say, I abused my Isetan card endlessly and ended up going home with my bank account in shreds but I am a happy broke chick. The Sanrio here is a small Japanese haven of cutesy, money-wasting goodness and I enjoyed every moment of my money flowing out of my wallet.
I shall be nice and talk about the GUESS outlet here and I really like their dresses and layout. And I like the MNG for their eternal sales and everything is in good view so it's easy to shop but I am digressing to no avail, come here for the Sanrio if you're a weak chick like I am on Monday's.
What a beautiful experience.