Going beyond a space to showcase merchandise

How can in-store displays help a brand stand out and enhance the retail experience of customers? Muneerah Bee finds out from Elizabeth Yap, assistant marketing manager at Uniqlo Singapore, how the Japanese casual wear retailer optimises its in-store displays as opportunities to engage the local community.

Uniqlo’s store at Orchard Central, Singapore

How can an attractive and effective display improve customer experience?

Elizabeth Yap: Customer-centric services have always been Uniqlo’s top priority, which are being reflected in various ways, including floor layout and in-store displays to interact with customers and fulfil their needs. Our in-store displays serve to update consumers about the latest trends and newest items in store, as well as to provide them a source of inspiration for creative styling. It delivers engaging content to customers and allows them to shop effortlessly. Therefore, it improves their shopping experience to be more meaningful and fulfilling.

Uniqlo apparels are integrated with functional or subtle design details to enhance comfort, wearability and versatility — all dedicated to improving the customer’s life and lifestyle through clothes. These product features are exemplified through in-store displays with detailed information provided, helping our customers to make informed choices.

Uniqlo is committed to creating an enriching and engaging in-store experience through various touch points in its Orchard Central flagship store such as extensive use of mannequins, digital screens, creative content and displays.

Our Uniqlo global flagship store at Orchard Central is the perfect example  of how much value and importance we place on in-store displays.

Here, we are committed to creating an enriching and engaging in-store experience through various touch points in our Orchard Central flagship since its launch in September last year, such as extensive use of mannequins, digital screens, as well as creative content and displays.

Conceived based on the concept of U+S (Uniqlo+Singapore) and the  world, the flagship store organises regular collaborations with the local community. Since the opening of the flagship store, we have worked closely with emerging and established local artists and craft makers to co-create installations, as well as conduct activities for consumers such as product customisation, calligraphy, craft-making or flower arrangement sessions. These efforts demonstrate a meaningful Japanese culture that is to be a good citizen of the country and be a good neighbour to the neighbourhood.

Is there more to in-store displays than marketing and price promotion?

Yap: Our in-store displays serve to inspire and engage our customers not only through the mannequins, but also special content displays and activities. In addition, we have a ‘Good Neighbour Guide’ in our flagship store, which is designed as an exclusive insider’s tips to Orchard Road and neighbouring precinct.

In-store display is also an opportunity for Uniqlo to support and provide avenue for local talents and businesses for collaborations to showcase and share their works with the community and vice versa, for the community to learn and appreciate local designs. We want our flagship store to connect with the local community, and encourage our customers to inspire other Uniqlo shoppers.

This form of “retail-tainment” is something we continue to make available to our customers and build a family-friendly shopping environment through fashion, arts and design.

How has Uniqlo leveraged in-store displays to attract and retain customers?

To celebrate Singapore’s National Day in August this year, Uniqlo presented a special HDB: Homes of Singapore installation at its global flagship store in Orchard Central.

Yap: We have collaborated with several  creatives to co-create in-store displays, such as working with local artist Dawn Ng to create the Stacks exhibition in May this year for the SPRZ NY Super Geometric UT (Uniqlo T-shirt) collection. In August this year, we teamed up with authors of HDB: Homes of Singapore, for a special HDBthemed installation for our National Day campaign, which featured photos of HDB homes, ‘real life’ set-ups of a typical home.

We have also partnered with a host of local personalities where we showcase their works in a multimedia display format during the Lunar New Year season.

In June this year, we partnered with popular key opinion leaders to create original in-store visuals for all stores as part of our travel campaign, which showcased how they curate Uniqlo clothes for different travel destinations and purposes.

And in July this year, we replicated the Jeans Innovation Centre (JIC) in Los Angeles in the US here at our Orchard Central flagship. This in-store set-up engages our consumers by taking them through the process and innovation that goes into to creating Uniqlo jeans.

Most recently in September, our global flagship store’s first anniversary paid tribute to local artists and businesses we have partnered before.

Creating and curating through collaboration

Uniqlo tied up with Singaporean artist Dawn Ng to present Stacks, Ng’s interpretation of SPRZ NY Super Geometric.

EARLIER this year, Uniqlo showcased special installations in collaboration with artists at its global flagship store at Orchard Central, Singapore. The Japanese brand tied up with Singaporean artist Dawn Ng to present Stacks, Ng’s interpretation of SPRZ NY Super Geometric, a line of T-shirts featuring designs by seven prominent artists of geometric forms, such as Sol LeWitt, Gordon Walters and Max Bill.

This was Ng’s first collaboration with the casual apparel retailer where she put forward a geometric installation of juxtaposed colour blocks, which threw chromatic shadows across the space to create a kaleidoscopic playground of serene shades. The exhibition captured the simplicity and beauty of geometric forms in 3D, designed to engage and entertain customers within our retail space.

To celebrate Singapore’s National Day in August this year, Uniqlo presented a special HDB: Homes of Singapore  installation at the same store to showcase special and endearing aspects of the country’s public housing. Uniqlo partnered with the artists behind the book HDB: Homes of Singapore for the HDB-themed installation, which features photos of HDB homes, ‘real life’ set-ups of a typical home and styling inspirations for shoppers.

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