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GenreDepartment store
Founded1932; 87 years ago (1932)
FounderCK Tang
Area served
South East Asia
Key people
Tang Wee Sung / Foo Tiang Sooi
RevenueS$196,790,000 (2007)
Number of employees
SubsidiariesGamut Marketing, Island Shop International

TANGS is a department store located on Orchard Road in Singapore, owned by C.K. Tang Limited; the store is regarded as a principal shopping destination in the city, comparable to Bloomingdale's in New York City and Selfridges in London.[1][2] The company was founded by Tang Choon Keng[3] in 1932.[4]


The store in February 1969, July 1971

C.K. Tang, the founder, migrated from China and began his business from a provisional store in 1932. CK Tang's first stores were on River Valley Road, but in the 1950s, he purchased land on Orchard Road as he noticed that the expatriates from the Holland Village area would travel down this road to go downtown.[citation needed]

When CK Tang bought the land, it was situated opposite a Chinese cemetery, which, under cultural conventions, was perceived to bring bad luck.

The first retail presence on Orchard Road[citation needed], TANGS is credited with sparking the transformation of the area into Singapore’s most famous shopping district.[2] In 1982, C.K. Tang purchased the adjacent Tang Plaza, which currently houses the Singapore Marriott Hotel.[5]

In the late 1980s and early 1990s one of CK Tang's sons, Tang Wee Sung took control of the store, he went on to become chairman of the company in 2000 after his father’s death, and his appointment gave rise to changed operating policies, such as permitting the store to remain open on Sundays and introducing marketing strategies to increase consumer choice. In the late 1980s and early 1990s one of CK Tang's sons, Tang Wee Sung took control of the store, he went on to become chairman of the company in 2000 after his father’s death.

In 2012, TANGS announced an S$45 million, 3-year transformation plan to its flagship store on Orchard Road.[6][7]


View at night (2007)

The building form was influenced by traditional Chinese culture and architecture, modeled after the Palaces in the Forbidden City; the color scheme of C.K. Tang building mimics a traditional imperial palace, with the green roof tiles symbolizing the notion of growth and prosperity, the yellow facade symbolizing the color of royalty, and red columns representing happiness.

The design follows the Chinese belief of ‘feng-shui’, a traditional Chinese philosophical system, which is prominent in the octagonal decorations consistent all over the building; the 8 sided shape is auspicious as the number ‘8’, pronounced as ‘fa´ in Chinese dialect implies prosperity. Apart from the visually prominent octagonal roof form of the tower, there are actually several other instances of octagonal designs all over the building; these include the floor tiling, column base and ceiling decorations, and railings.

Other features like the distinctive ‘artichoke leaf’ or ‘xie-shan’ roof, designed to repel rain as well as allow wind circulation within the structure; the ridges of the roofs are aligned with figures of miniature mythical creatures which is a symbolism of formidableness in Chinese culture, along with the stone statues of lions up-front.

Prior to its 2012 transformation, TANGS occupied 15,000 square meters and boasted five selling floors, designed by New York-based Hambrecht Terrell International, noted for its work with Saks Fifth Avenue and Macy's.[8]



In 2006, TANGS opened as an anchor tenant at shopping mall VivoCity. TANGS VivoCity occupies approximately 85,000 square feet (7,900 m²) of retail space.


Tangs marked its return to the Malaysian market with a store within Pavilion KL in 2007; the store has since re-located to 1 Utama,[9] this was followed by new locations in Subang Jaya (Empire Subang), and subsequent openings at Genting Highlands (First World Plaza) and Malacca.[10]


  1. ^ http://comesingapore.com/travel-guide/article/402/department-stores
  2. ^ a b "Singapore retail tycoon dies". BBC News. 4 September 2004.
  3. ^ Tang Choon Keng
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-05-31. Retrieved 2012-09-17.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/sindt-singapore-marriott-hotel/
  6. ^ http://www.btinvest.com.sg/property/local/tangs-in-45m-remodelling-into-orchard-rds-harrods/
  7. ^ http://www.tangs.com/press_detail.php Archived 2011-12-20 at the Wayback Machine?
  8. ^ Merin, Jennifer (9 July 1989). "This Singapore Story Went From Rags to Riches". Los Angeles Times.
  9. ^ http://www.nst.com.my/streets/central/tangs-picks-1utama-for-third-store-1.5487
  10. ^ "Tangs to open fourth store in Malacca". The Star. 10 April 2014.

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