That corner shop will be the future of retail in my own opinion.
Back in the 1900s, people shop in local corner shops for basic necessities and essentials. Today, these traditional corner shops usually operate under longer opening hours, focus on locally produced goods, wider range of books and magazines, better choice of sweets and confectionery, lottery ticket sales and so on. But of course, this is no longer the most profitable business compared to the past when life was much simpler.
It is a matter of time that online shopping will dominate the mass market like how the departmental stores and big box concepts did over the past few decades. Online shopping will soon become a tool to retail shops for brand communication and act as an alternative option to make purchases. In the boundless internet world, competition is inevitable and the fittest survives like always. So naturally optimum pricing becomes the most crucial factor to success.
However, many a time, we tend to neglect value versus price. We are human beings, we are not robots. We are intelligent and emotional at the same time. We need to move around instead of staying home and staring into a computer screen all day long. The purpose of technology is to aid our lifestyles, not destroy. We need to have a social life and shopping is one of the best feelings in the world, at least to me it is. I do not hope online shopping will replace retail shops. In fact I do not even think retail will end. I believe this is the era of change and I believe that retail, like fashion, works in a cycle.
My idea of the future of retail will resume back to the corner shop days. No more chain store concepts, we go back to thinking small. We focus on a smaller catchment of consumers we wish to serve and cater for them according to their needs and lifestyles. Like the past, shops should consist of local made goods, designed by locals for locals and never compromise on quality. Personal shopping, door to door delivery, after sales services, tailoring, alteration, grooming and styling are value added services that are close to the heart. At the same time, incorporating technology into the shops using the help of social media, bloggers, influencers and online catalogs. Retail shops can also become showroom or community centre for online shoppers to mingle, touch and feel over a cuppa.
Emotional shopping experience is what I see in the future of retail. I believe when things are moving too fast, those who are willing to stop and smell the roses will be the ones who will have an edge over others.
- Jarenis Ho, Founder of YACHT 21
Plaza Singapura store, 7th September 2017 - IT'S A WRAP!
"Wrote the above post 2 years ago and I decided to repost this article into my label's blog as today marks the end YACHT 21's pop up store, The Lobby, in Plaza Singapura. The Lobby, is a brand experiential concept I introduced a year ago. It was a great year for my team and myself as we went all out to explore new retail concepts and worked with various brands from different trades. All the events and collaborations we shared were priceless experiences. Turning an idea into reality is what makes my job fun and exciting, and I am extremely grateful to those who believed in me."
"Till our next pop up!"
Shopping at YACHT 21 continues online and in-stores, our Bugis and Wheelock stores operate from 11am till 9.30pm daily.