Big Box: New Kid of the Jurong East Malls

20150102_155859 (800x467)As if Jurong East is not human-packed enough, yet another new mall has popped up next to Jem and Westgate – Big Box.  Touted as Singapore’s largest warehouse retail mall, it’s kinda like a Courts-Giant-Carrefour all rolled into one and then some. Just that it doesn’t quite grab you at “hello” the moment you step in (via Jem at level 2). For starters, it’s huge, really huge, with loads of walking space with the retail areas quite spread apart from each other over eight levels. Not that there is nothing to see – there is aplenty and you won’t get through it all in one day – it’s just that the layout and decor of the place is rather wanting. But then again, maybe it’s unfair to compare it to its glitzy neighbours…
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Big Box is a Jack of all trades. It has furniture, consumer electronics, lifestyle merchandise from travel gear to sports apparel to fashion, TCM products, kitchenware, toys and novelty items, a huge supermarket and various dining options. Needless to say, If you are looking for ideas or something for the home, it certainly a good place to check out. Furniture and home furnishings filled up the two uppermost floors, from mattresses, sofa sets, glassware to chairs of all shapes and sizes, Just felt the overall layout – especially that of the home furnishings – lack a “homely” touch…
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Personally, I like the Leisure.Box segment at the basement. The travel and accessories section, for instance, is comprehensive with luggage, travel accessories, winter gear, backpacks and camping equipment, most of which are reasonably priced. They also have racing bikes, gym equipment, and sports apparel such as swimming and running gear. Fashion runs from clothes to shoes and bags but mainly of of brands you hardly heard of but I know of friends who can find gems of a buy if you give them the time and space to hunt and shop. If you are not too fussy or are on a budget, there could be decent stuff you can find here.IMG_20150102_162959 (600x800)What really caught my eye were these utterly cute official Minion pillows, boosters and bedsheets which cost between $7.90 and $29.90, at the Home/Bedroom section ( we are now into the Warehouse Mart also at the basement…). There are other designs too from Cartoon Marvel Heroes to of course Hello Kitty. The Kitchenware Section nearby is not unlike those you find in stores such as Robinsons. There is also a huge Tools section – for anything from homes to cars such as toolboxes to power drills – which dads and bros will probably get excited about.
20150102_163818 (800x450)The supermarket is where you can buy things in bulk. It is impressive with lots of frozen food (seafood to meats to dairy products), fresh looking vegetables, exotic fruits such as grapefruits from Israel, and a good selection of wines. If you are planning to do your marketing here though, it’s best you have a car or have plans to take a cab cos it’s seem silly to come all the way here to buy just a loaf of bread or cake only to walk all the way back to Jem to take the MRT or a bus home!
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There are a couple of dining options but not any that shout out attention except maybe the Foodstreet located right at the basement where supermarket fare like whole roasted chicken and fishballs are sold. Elsewhere there’s a food court with various stalls selling chicken rice to fish & chips on the top level, to a Big Burger joint next to Habitat, and this toast and coffee place located outside the building at the ground floor.
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Big Box is no Jem but then Jem is no Big Box either. If you are looking for functional items, Big Box probably offers a good alternative with more options for you to choose from and some of its offerings are actually pretty decent. Come Jan 15, Big Box will have a drive-through service for those who make online purchases hours earlier. So yes, it’s definitely good for those with cars and who buy in bulk. For me, I think for the time being, I will only check it out on a case-to-case basis.

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