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Coordinates: 1°17′05″N 103°48′35″E / 1.2846°N 103.8096°E / 1.2846; 103.8096
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1°17′05″N 103°48′35″E / 1.2846°N 103.8096°E / 1.2846; 103.8096

Company typePublic
GenreDepartment store
Founded1932; 92 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 in 1932.[3]


The store c. 1970

C.K. Tang, the founder, migrated from China and began his business in 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 after noticing that 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, according to cultural conventions, was perceived to bring bad luck.

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.[4]

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, one of CK Tang's sons, Tang Wee Sung, assumed control of the store. He became chairman of the company in 2000 following his father's death. His appointment led to changes in operating policies, such as allowing the store to remain open on Sundays and introducing marketing strategies to enhance consumer choice.

In 2012, TANGS announced a S$45 million, three-year transformation plan for its flagship store on Orchard Road.[5]


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 eight-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 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 m2 (160,000 sq ft) and boasted five selling floors, designed by New York-based Hambrecht Terrell International, noted for its work with Saks Fifth Avenue and Macy's.[6]




TANGS VivoCity in June 2023.
TANGS VivoCity in June 2023.

In 2006, TANGS opened as an anchor tenant at shopping mall VivoCity.[7] TANGS VivoCity occupies approximately 85,000 sq ft (7,900 m2) of retail space. The space was revamped in October 2022 and reopened in June 2023.



Tangs marked its return to the Malaysian market with a store within Pavilion KL in 2007. The store has since relocated to 1 Utama,[8] this was followed by new locations in Subang Jaya (Empire Subang), and subsequent openings at Genting Highlands (First World Plaza) and Malacca.[9] Tangs once again withdraws from Malaysia in 2020, with the branches at Subang Jaya and Genting Highlands renamed as Galeries Voir,[10] the Malacca branch renamed as Best Value Outlet, while the 1 Utama branch closed down.


  1. ^ "SINGAPORE Guide | Department Stores". 4 January 2011. Archived from the original on 4 January 2011. Retrieved 1 October 2021.
  2. ^ a b "Singapore retail tycoon dies". BBC News. 4 September 2004.
  3. ^ "Tangs". Archived from the original on 31 May 2012. Retrieved 17 September 2012.
  4. ^ "Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel". Marriott International.
  5. ^ "Tangs in $45m remodelling into Orchard Rd's Harrods - BTInvest". 29 October 2013. Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 1 October 2021.
  6. ^ Merin, Jennifer (9 July 1989). "This Singapore Story Went From Rags to Riches". Los Angeles Times.
  7. ^ "One Mall to Rule Them All". bk.asia-city.com. 19 October 2006. Retrieved 1 October 2021.
  8. ^ "Tangs picks 1Utama for third store - Central - New Straits Times". 14 November 2011. Archived from the original on 14 November 2011. Retrieved 1 October 2021.
  9. ^ "Tangs to open fourth store in Malacca". The Star. 10 April 2014.
  10. ^ "Stores Categories - Empire Shopping Gallery". www.esg.com.my. Retrieved 22 February 2021.