Ever since Robinsons announced its withdrawal from Singapore, the main concern on everyone’s minds is if physical retail is dead. The answer is no. The writer has shared that we have entered a dual online-and-offline retail and era. The COVID-19 pandemic has made major brands realise that strengthening both offline and online capabilities is the only way to survive.
In addition to enhancing the brand’s online store (which is not hampered by operating hours the way brick and mortar stores are), the brand’s physical retail spaces must also be enhanced to deepen customers’ impression of it, which is likely to lead to increased sales.
One of the physical retail spaces the writer visited is GRAYE Studio, a ready-to-wear men's clothing label that was founded in 2016 by 28 year old Xie Qian Qian and her husband. Xie Qian Qian came to Singapore from Fujian, China as a child and attended school in Singapore. She studied fashion design at Temasek Polytechnic and later at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts. After graduation, she and her husband founded GRAYE Studio together, where she presently serves as the creative director. She said that she chose to design menswear because she noticed that there was a lack of unique menswear brands in Singapore.
GRAYE Studio is located in shophouse in the heart of Katong. Qian Qian also emphasised the importance of having a physical retail store, as only a physical store can truly convey the spirit of a brand the way an online store cannot.
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Source: Lianhe Zaobao © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission.