Playing god in the DetailsAre you paying attention?Submitted by Giorjean Mutuc
Note: I checked out different stores from various parts of the city to drawout interesting comparisons. Most of the stores included in this list arelocated in fancy malls along Orchard Road (Singapore’s shoppingdistrict), there’s one store located in a mall near my residence and anotherlocated in an industrial furniture complex. I had some limitations takingphotos because most stores in Singapore prohibit this (I had to think ofclever ways to take photos conspicuously before the store manager callsmy attention). So I took some photos from the internet to support of myobservations.
Store 1: UniqloLocated in one of the mallsalong Orchard RoadThis way to casualcomfort!The stores has a main entrance but if youare coming from the floor belowUniqlo, you can take an exclusiveescalator that leads to the store.
Brand’s minimalistfont was designed byKashiwa Sato whichmatches the lifestylethat the brand offers It has no doors As a fan of minimalist casual It’s brightly lit fashion, it is easy to be drawn to the store’s easy-going feelStore is mostly white so itdoesn’t clash with thecolors of the merchandize
It’s an open-store concept that allows customers to move around freely. It’s not intimidating and a store attendant will only approach you when you have a question to ask so shoppers are not pressured to impulsively decide on a purchaseThe store is orderly sectioned according tothe different subgroups of themerchandize (pants, stockings, plainshirts, underwear, sleep wear)The price tags are displayed on the shelvestoo making it easier for the customer todecide and compare
On the way to the basement dining area, guests are greeted by this green cow…And dolls dressed in traditionalEuropean clothes. It’s a bit gaudyand a little creepy but it’s perhaps anattempt to re-enforce the Swisscountryside feel of the restaurant
As the name suggests, theplace has a market-concept.The floor is made to appearlike gray stone roads inEurope and each stall isidentified with chalk-writtensignboards. But the basketsand crates of fresh produceare complete the actualmarket look.
Customers can move from stall to stall to choose what they wouldlike to have and they get to personalize each order with freshingredients that they can choose on the counters. Each dish can beseen as it is being prepared on the spot. It’s self-service but it’s aconcept that is very interesting to customers so most of them aremore than happy to take part in the experience.
Paying is easy toobecause thecustomers neednot wait for thereceipt. They justneed to presentthis card at thecounter where amachine willcompute all thepurchases with aswipe.
Store 3: DaisoLocated in one of the outletmalls Straight-forward bargain store selling a wide range of Japanese products. Counters are located at the main entrance of the store. I’m assuming this is so that they can easily manage the flow of customers.
Two things one mustremember beforeentering the store:1) Everything is at $2 2) No one gets away with shoplifting in this store
The various of products is perhaps thebiggest draw of this store. Theyspecialize on offering tools for minutedetails like these tiny cooking andcleaning items. You understand whythey have a big warning aboutshoplifting because they are very easyto sneak inside the pocket.
From a single-sushi keeper…To chair leg socks…
To this finger sack (a finger condomaccording to my naughty friend) -These amusing Japanese noveltiesare what keeps this store very busywith people who may appear aimlessat first but ends up at the counterpaying for loads of these cute but“useless” inventions. Uponpaying, one realizes that $2/item isnot that cheap especially when theyend up not having very little use. Iguess the Japanese pop musicplaying in the background conditionsthe consumers to be in the mood forJapanese finds.
Store 4: Orchard CentralA mall located in Singapore’s shopping hub It’s not a particular store but I included this place because of the mall’s Mediterranean interiors. The lights have an Eastern Europe feel to it and the fountains are very Greek. The mall also has a very distinct floral scent.
This path leads to anunderground walkway thatconnects Orchard Central tothe mall across. Stillconsistent with theMediterranean look andfeel, they have lined thewalls with aerial mossplants and wooden doorsinspired by Spanish villas.Although I appreciate theeffort to make the mall havea very homey and relaxingatmosphere, I think theplace is not very clear withthe look and concept theywould like to carry.
The exterior of themall is very modernand futuristicThey even call it“Singapore’s very firstvertical mall” thoughI’m not too sure whatthat means. It housesa lot of luxury brandswhich is probably whyit’s a bit intimidatingand why the crowd inthis place is relativelysmall for Singapore’small-going culture
To provide contrast to theirfuturistic/snooty exterior, themall placed several greenpockets in the rooftop wherekids can play. For somereason, I think the mall wasnot very successful in strikinga balance of creating acosmopolitan structure with ahomey atmosphere. I thinksomething is amiss.
Store 5: Tag WorldwideOddly placed next to a row of furniture outlets in an industrial complex,this shop is a wholesaler of perfumes
It’s a store that is only known toresidents and perhaps peoplewho work around this industrialcomplex. Even for its oddlocation, the store tends toattract customers who comehere with the intention to buy inbulk since this is a wholesaler.
A few paces away from thestore, one can already smell themix of scents. Products are justshelved like ordinary grocerygoods. No strategic visualmerchandizing although whatthey usually put are brightviolator signs indicating thediscounts they offer for certainproducts.