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Starhill Gallery unveils Pamper Zone - world's largest urban retreat

   
Yeoh, Tiara and guests tour Pamper Zone's individuals spas and boutiques.

Kuala Lumpur, 30 May 2006

Pamper Zone at Starhill Gallery is officially open, offering 50,000 sq ft of pure unadulterated pampering. YTL Corporation managing director, Tan Sri (Dr) Francis Yeoh hosted media and the creme of Kuala Lumpur's social scene at a soiree as a preview to the services available at Pamper Zone.

A total of about 200 guests were given a tour of the Pamper Zone at the boutiques and spas with newly appointed Pamper Zone Ambassador, Datin Seri Tiara Jacquelina, as well as the face of spas in YTL Hotels & Properties, Anita Sarawak.

Candles and curtains in purple and white enhanced the decor that was inspired by the legendary icons of beauty, the Egyptians. The lavish cocktail party with flowers bouquets, strewn flower petals and a string quartet providing soothing live music was a perfect setting to introduce women, and also men, to the wonderful services available at the 93 treatment rooms in Pamper Zone.

In his opening address, Yeoh said, "The legendary Estee Lauder remarked that every woman looks beautiful on their wedding day and therefore there is no reason why they should not look beautiful throughout the rest of their lives. I can vouch that today, my wife still looks as beautiful as she ever did after our magical wedding day," as guests sighed and clapped for his romantic tribute to Puan Sri Rosaline Yeoh.

"Knowing what I know, it will not be an exaggeration to say that she will recommend some of the advice and treatment available here from our experts and consultants in Pamper Zone," added Yeoh.

Yeoh said this latest experience at Starhill Gallery was in line with its current status of being the world's biggest watch floor at Adorn. He said there is a saying that the centre of the world is where you want it to be. "I believe Starhill Gallery, with Pamper Zone is set to be the centre of wellness and beauty for the whole of Asia. In creating Adorn and Pamper Zone, it shall truly be a gallery of rich experiences, dedicated to all the beautiful women and beautiful people of the world."

He added, "We were encouraged by the success of our world-acclaimed spas in Pangkor Laut and Tanjong Jara. Beauty and wellness is no small business - women in the UK spent ?10 billion on it last year, and in Thailand the luxury spa business raked in USD285.7 million. Therefore the saying that beauty is but skin deep is but a skin deep saying."


   

Text of Speech by Tan Sri (Dr) Francis Yeoh

A warm welcome to today’s much-awaited event, the launch of the latest experience that awaits visitors to Starhill Gallery. I must, right up front mention with great pride, that this floor is set to become an awesome oasis of wellness and beauty, it is indeed the largest urban retreat in the world. It is 50,000 sq feet of pure unadulterated pampering and spoiling and nourishing and beautifying. Ladies and gentlemen, this is the all-new Pamper Zone.

The launch of Pamper Zone comes close at the heels of the successes of the other experiences in Starhill, and serves to complete the loop in what makes for a successful, holistic retail institution – fashion, art, beauty, food and living.

Mentioning this serves to remind me of the speech I delivered in October 2004, when I launched the concept for the new Starhill. I described to you all how YTL was going to make some serious changes to the face of the retail industry in Malaysia and in the region. A new shopping facility was to be born, one that will redefine the shopping experience. Then in July last year, witnessed by the crème of society from all over the world symbolising Starhill’s worldwide appeal, I made the announcement the new Starhill Gallery was officially open.

And today, as we stand just three months short of her first birthday, we see that Starhill Gallery has come far indeed. This fabulous shopping centre – nay, this monumental gallery of experiences – now plays home to some of the world’s top brands and retail outlets, welcoming into our hallways people and names renowned the world over.

The beauty on the outside, thanks to the magic of New York-based architect David Rockwell, is surpassed only by the magnitude of what is contained inside. From top class eateries to designer labels of the highest order – in fact, Asprey is of Her Royal Highness, the Queen of England’s order – we have even gone as far as to establish a floor just for timepieces. Adorn is yet another pride and joy of ours, establishing itself as THE Global Fine Watch Retailer.

Another differentiating factor we have within Starhill is the extension of the hotel culture, where service standards are taken to whole new levels for a mall. Several initiatives we have put into place in terms of amenities and service qualities already serve to carry out this task – our call centre has been very busy, as have our Concierge, who I know take extra pains to ensure a shopper’s experience at Starhill is seamless and unfathomably pleasant.

Charting our progress thus far, it is clear that we have been very visionary in our crafting of Starhill as institution, by breaking several retail barriers. The first and foremost was of course the dissolution of the anchor department store concept. We were brave enough to take that stand because we genuinely believed that department stores didn’t reflect what individual brands stood for. This has worked obviously, as Starhill now houses exclusively several flagship and concept stores for many global brands, giving them the chance to express themselves in an unbridled fashion.

We then invalidated a key retail rule we have all lived by for so long – that upper floors were inferior. We thought, why number them at all? Why not turn each floor into a unique experience? So we did. And in doing so, we ensured brands complemented, and not competed with each other – creating a much healthier retail environment for everyone. The result of course is what we see here today – a whole gallery of themed experiences, RICH experiences.


   
Pamper Zone: A serene oasis of wellness and beauty

Subsequently when we spoke about our first themed floor, Feast Village, we were warned that Shook, one our most successful F&B establishments would suffer. But we knew about the strength and camaraderie that good neighbours can bring. Since Feast Village started operations, sales at Shook have shot up by 30%. Feast Village is now the toast of global discerning gourmands and hedonists.

And of course our gift to real estate – the Starhill Real Estate Investment Trusts. When we launched this in 2005, concerns were raised over its sustainability given the domestic property environment at the time. But the identity we had already carved for Starhill Gallery, Lot 10 and the JW Marriott was too strong – it defied all naysayers and grew to be a trailblazer in the REIT markets, yielding an unsurpassed 6% return rate. Units were oversubscribed 8.8 times, and 65% were snapped up by foreign investors from London, Hong Kong and Singapore, the very established quintessential retail cities.

But even with all these, we knew there was a final pillar that needed to be fleshed out in order to perfect that equation of landmark destination. The final seal on the deal to complete the loop of Starhill’s overall offering – the launch of Pamper Zone. It is a one-of-a-kind facility, dedicated to the woman who knows how to take care of herself, who looks at beauty from not just the outside but from inside, and who deserves to feel special and loves to be treated. It celebrates all that is beautiful about a woman from the roots of her hair to the tips of her toes, from her made up face to her healthy glowing skin. The legendary Estee Lauder remarked that every woman looks beautiful on their wedding day and therefore there is no reason why they should not look beautiful throughout the rest of their lives. I can vouch that today, my wife still looks as beautiful as she ever did after our magical wedding day. Knowing what I know it will not be an exaggeration to say that she will recommend some of the advice and treatment available here from our various experts and consultants in the Pamper Zone.

Pamper Zone’s services also seamlessly extend into our globally recognised spa brands, Spa Village in the Ritz-Carlton Residences, and the Starhill Spa in JW Marriott. Bringing us to a grand total of 93 treatment rooms, Pamper Zone has created the ultimate escape in the midst of our busy lively city. All this delivered in Starhill’s trademark style, by designer brands and established international outlets.

Beauty and wellness is no small business mind you – women in the UK spent ₤10 billion on toiletries last year, and that number is expected to grow rapidly. In Thailand, the luxury spa business raked in 285.7 million USD, circulating 12 billion Baht into the Thai economy. And placing this sort of spa facility in a retail centre is also proven theory, as the Harrods Urban Retreat has been to Harrods themselves. Therefore the saying that beauty is but skin deep is but a skin deep saying.

Ladies and gentlemen. I have always dreamt that Starhill Gallery will do our beloved city of Kuala Lumpur proud. With the Pamper Zone, yet another piece of the larger Starhill picture clicks into place, it is evident that our dream is slowly but surely coming true. I am so proud to do this for my home country, Malaysia, and I am even more thrilled to be doing it in God’s humbling presence. I would be remiss not credit to our Lord Jesus Christ for all his abundant blessings, and all the wonderful things he has done to make this, and today, possible.

It is a pleasure to have you all attend today’s event, and gracing this momentous occasion with us. God bless you and thank you very much.

Text of speech by Tan Sri (Dr) Francis Yeoh
at the launch of Pamper Zone
in Explore Floor, Starhill Gallery
on May 30th, 2006



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