Frequent shoppers of Singapore’s Orchard Road might have noticed this already: Singapore’s online design retailer Naiise is currently organizing its third pop-up store at Orchard Central until the 20th of August.
Called The Design Supermarket, the pop-up store spans 350 square metres, takes on the look and feel of a supermarket. By placing design products in a familiar supermarket setting, Naiise hopes to help more people discover design in an accessible and friendly environment, and also educate people on how design can be for everyone.
Unique Design Pieces And Free Activities For Shoppers
The pop-up store is constructed out of custom cardboard structures designed by local cardboard architecture firm, Paper Carpenter, and complemented with a wide range of furniture showcased by local furniture retailer, Journey East. Shoppers will be able to shop for design products with grocery baskets and bakery trays, and also participate in workshops, demos and food sampling every weekend.
In celebration of National Day, 80% of the retail offering at The Design Supermarket is also devoted to local designs, and spans several categories including furniture, home accessories, desk accessories, fashion and accessories, children’s products and food. This also marks the first time the team is retailing cool fashion and lifestyle accessories such as This Is Ground, Kirstin Ash, Bellroy and Gnome & Bow at a pop-up store and they will also be showcasing art from local studios Wowall and Kult.
Other than just selling curated daily design pieces, the Design Supermarket also engages the public with a variety of paid and free activities. Free activities include a daily food sampling of local artisanal foods and an exhibition showcasing consumer products crafted from cardboard as well as art and prints from various designers and studios in Singapore. Paid activities include floral arrangement and garment up-cycling workshops.
Bringing Online To Offline
One of the biggest buzzword in the Internet scene two years back is the Online to Offline (O2O) model, where companies which online presence replicate their experience offline. Naiise seems to be attempting this with its Pop-up stores, a concept even popular messaging app LINE is using.
According to founder Dennis Tay, the foot traffic at the Orchard Central Pop-up store varies from weekdays and weekends, picking up from Friday afternoon to Sunday, with Saturday being the best. For weekdays, traffic is normally strong after dinner time, while for weekend, traffic is fairly constant and strong throughout the day. When we asked how were the sales volume like, Dennis was unable to share any sales number. However, he cheekily added that volume is about 2 to 3 times that of the last pop-up store at Jalan Besar, giving us a big smiley ” 🙂 ” emoticon too.
So what did the team take away from this Pop-up store experience versus the previous one at Jalan Besar? With the Orchard Central Pop-Up, the Naiise brand is exposed to a lot more people and new audiences who may not have been immersed in the design scene or even heard of the brand before.
“We learned that we had a very unique and interesting range of products that were novel and resonated with people, especially those designed and crafted locally. This definitely inspires us to continue working hard to make design accessible to more people, as we believe that there is a market of consumers out there who are seeking unique, interesting, original and well-designed products.” – Dennis Tay
Sales Conversions Higher For Pop-Up Stores Compared To Online
We also asked if the sales for its offline Pop-Up is better than the online Naiise store. Dennis admitted that “Pop-Up stores definitely do better”, and that human traffic conversions are universally known to be higher. That said, the team usually sees a good boost in online sales after each pop-up store as brand awareness for Naiise increases.
In terms of cost structure, to our surprise, Naiise revealed that Pop-Up store “does slightly better” due to the larger revenue scale achieved, although they do incur costs for retail staffing and the store set-up as well. Of course, unlike an online shopping site, organizing a Pop-Up store has variable hidden cost, which usually comes hidden in the form of manpower cost.
“Our team consists of just 9 people, so everyone is stretched to their limit for the period of the pop-up! But being able to expose our local designs to mass audiences and seeing smiles on our shoppers’ faces do give us a lot of satisfaction and make it worthwhile,” founder Dennis Tay told Vulcan Post.
So would we expect more Pop-Up stores from Naiise? A resounding “Yes!” from the team.
Here are some photos from the Naiise Pop-Up Store which is still running at Orchard Central: