An icon of Singapore, TANGS is a leading player in the retail industry that has its fingers constantly on the pulse of the ever-changing consumer wants and trends.

With the flagship TANGS at Tang Plaza's transformation completed, Singapore's most distinctive and beloved shopping destination raises the bar in retail, stepping up its role as a curator of a spectrum of exciting Asian as well as international brands, and redefining the shopping experience with a refreshed store concept.

TANGS is located at TANGS at Tang Plaza and TANGS VivoCity.


It all began with an old tin trunk

TANGS’ founder, CK Tang, was born in a town in the Chinese province of Swatow to a Presbyterian pastor and his wife. As an itinerant pastor, CK Tang’s father frequently travelled the region, leaving his wife to run the household with his meagre income. To get out of the cycle of poverty and struggle, CK Tang journeyed to Singapore in 1923, which was then under colonial administration. Armed with two trunks – one tin and one leather case filled with lace and linen – CK Tang set off on his arduous journey. Upon his arrival, he hired a rickshaw puller and peddled his wares to the resident expatriates with tenacity and uncompromising principles.


The beginnings of a Singapore’s iconic department store

Nearly a decade after his arrival, CK Tang decided to shift from door-to-door selling to opening a store, renting a shop unit on River Valley Road. This was a bold move, considering his customers were used to his coming to them. The gamble paid off – his loyal customers followed and brought new customers with them. The retail business was good for him, after gradual expansion CK Tang was able to buy a piece of land in 1939 on River Valley Road and build a three-storey structure as both a business and a dwelling. With this additional space, he expanded his product offerings to include other merchandise from China such as jewellery, baskets and assorted Chinese curios.


The first retail presence on Orchard Road

From his time as an uneducated 21-year-old, CK Tang showed great vision. But perhaps the most famous of his visionary decisions was expanding his store on River Valley Road and buying the land on Orchard Road. Then, Orchard Road was relatively quiet, and faced a Chinese cemetery.

People used to tell me this is not a nice place to start a business. Why buy such a deserted place, and one in front of the graveyard? I would tell them, ‘One day this place will boom.’”

His decision to buy the land stemmed from a vision he could clearly see and articulate – a thriving Orchard Road, with TANGS at its centre. He was right, it was the perfect location as the expatriate community had to pass his store when travelling from their homes to the financial centre. Over time, other stores sprouted around and outwards, making Orchard Road a thriving shopping destination and one of the busiest, most well-known shopping streets in the world. TANGS itself grew from strength to strength, becoming the store of choice for Western brands entering Singapore and a purveyor of quality Chinese crafts, offering something for everyone and earning CK Tang the moniker “The Curio King”.


The TANGS Retail Revolution

In 1982, the new 33-storey Tang Plaza, incorporating The Dynasty Hotel and a 5-storey shopping complex, was opened. At the same time, the retail landscape was changing; international travel had exposed shoppers to what the world had to offer, and independent brands were arriving in Singapore.

TANGS repositioned itself as a hip destination for modern, international shopping, creating a space filled with international brands. The superstore created so much attention in the retail scene that international brands paid attention to Singapore, with the likes of Estee Lauder, Paloma Picasso, Isabella Rossellini and Tyson Beckford headlining launches and events. At the same time, TANGS began its legacy of supporting local talent, showcasing the works of multiple local designers through the Society of Designing Arts Singapore (SODA). This retail revolution brought TANGS to a new territory – fashion – and brought the store to new heights.

Present Day

Modern heritage and an immersive customer experience

Upon its 80th Anniversary, TANGS began a large-scale transformation of TANGS at Tang Plaza, its flagship store along Orchard Road, across all concepts to reinforce its position as a family-friendly retailer and Singapore’s iconic, world-class shopping destination. Presenting a mix of carefully curated international and Singaporean brands across all concepts of Beauty, Home, Fashion, Kids and even Food & Beverages, TANGS appeals to the modern shopper who seeks to distinguish themselves with our blend of local, international, modern heritage, exclusive and quality offerings.

Designed to offer the best of brands in the intimacy of a department store, the revamp also provides a truly immersive customer experience, with services and flourishes available at every corner, dining and rest spots on almost every floor, a comprehensive loyalty rewards programme and 24-hour shopping via and the TANGS mobile app.