Was there a stampede when the new Uniqlo Global Flagship Store opened its doors at Orchard Central on its first day of business? That depends upon your definition of the world.
The store, the latest and greatest in the brand’s 25-store empire, has captured the imagination and attention of Singapore shoppers who were ready to have their shopping experience enhanced after hearing and reading about the store’s impending debut.
Is this a new, improved and enhanced experience for shoppers who love the brand? Probably. And that includes those have yet to indulge their shopping fantasies at any of the other Uniqlo locations.
Fact is, Mr. Taku Morikawa, UNIQLO Southeast Asia CEO, has pinned some serious hopes on this mega-store becoming a significant influence on the Singapore shopping scene. He sees the re-imagined retail environment as a role model for future locations in markets like India and Vietnam.
Why launch a re-imagined Uniqlo facility in Singapore? What do you think? We’re the epicentre of commercial growth in southeast Asia and a pivotal test market for savvy consumers who know a unique shopping experience when they see it. But we’re selfish!
As runners, we want to know what’s in it for us if we divert our dollars and loyalty to the retail new kid on the block, so we’ve come up with compelling reasons why you may want to head for Orchard Central the next time you require a different kind of shopping experience.
Uniqlo is a sensory playground
Sunglasses not required, but expect to be hyper-stimulated when shopping for trendy fashions amid the store’s 286 digital displays that can’t be ignored, even if you tried.
As a matter of fact, you can tell your running buddies that you were witness to the largest number of digital screens in the worldwide Uniqlo family of stores, so even if you’re fatigued, the bold graphics and attention-getting data will keep you alert and interested as you browse and buy.
One word of warning: if you’re tempted to strike up a conversation with any of the 350 iconic rotating mannequins you encounter on the premises, think twice! They’re part of the magic.
The Uniqlo experience is unique
Unlike most upscale retail emporiums, Uniqlo has no intention of being labeled as ordinary. Runners can choose from brands, labels and looks they can find elsewhere.
Sure, you’ll find familiar labels but they’ll be keeping company with fresh, innovative designs and collections produced “with design-conscious shoppers in mind,” says Ms. Mavis Seow, Chief Operating Officer, Retail Business Group, Far East Organization.
This is the place to see and be seen; as much a social hub as a fashion epicentre. You can even get in some exercise within the 29,000-foot “mammoth store” that even offers a some vertical action if you decide to cover every inch of all three floors filled with merchandise.
By the way, you won’t be able to escape checking your form as you shop; this super-store is loaded with floor-to-ceiling mirrors.
A store for all ages and stages of life
Because Uniqlo’s parent company, Fast Retailing, has set a high bar for the type of merchandise that fills this Uniqlo location, you’re going to run into some of the latest trends on the international apparel market.
The Singapore flagship store has something for everyone, so if you do the family shopping and you’re responsible for everything from school clothing for the kids to gifts for running buddies, this could become your new retail home or just the place you go for plenty of shopping therapy.
Speciality products just for children feature original art, and you can even experience some hometown pride when strolling the second-floor children’s boutique where the work of Singapore’s whimsical and popular illustrator, Michael Ng, is on display.
Find everything you need and want
Given Uniqlo’s promise to make sure shoppers are never bored by choices they are offered when perusing three floors of merchandise, you may be surprised to learn that there’s a special emphasis on exclusivity.
For example, French designer Ines de la Fressange’s collection could get a fashion-forward runner’s pulse rate up and Uniqlo’s proprietary LifeWear brand is a runner’s dream. Garments are fashioned of innovative fabrics that are light, breathable and practical.
Find AIRism inner and outerwear on shelves that include t-shirts and tank-tops that repel bacterial and odor. Even Uniqlo jeans are runner-friendly because the denim is 20-percent lighter than regular-grade denim, so sliding on a pair for a post-marathon party consumes less time than it takes to say, “Who’s going to Uniqlo with me to check out this one-of-a-kind shopping experience?”
Have you visited Uniqlo’s flagship store yet? If so, what did you think about your experience? If you’ve yet to visit, what is stopping you?