Ever since its launch last year, homeware retailer IUIGA earned a reputation for selling Muji-style minimalist products at a fraction of the exorbitant prices charged by the cult Japanese brand. If the name sounds familiar, it’s probably because they kinda messed up earlier this year when it tried to cash in on the death of Singapore’s last polar bear.
Anyway, the online-only retailer’s spiel is that it manages to keep things affordable by sourcing straight from product manufacturers and factories, eliminating the hefty middlemen markups.
As much as the homegrown brand found great success in digital trade, IUIGA decided that it was prime time to move offline and have an actual physical store. Bad news for most folks — its first permanent Retail+ store will open on Dec 1 at Causeway Point, way up north in Woodlands. The good news is that upcoming IUIGA Retail+ stores will include locations such as Tampines One, Paya Lebar Quarter, and Funan Mall.
“Although IUIGA started as an e-commerce platform, data shows that offline retail still accounts for approximately 95 percent of transactions in Singapore,” remarked IUIGA’s Chief Growth Officer Jaslyn Chan.
“With this upward trend, New Retail is IUIGA’s strategy to combine brick-and-mortar retailing with e-commerce, creating an entirely new operating system that blends the best of what both systems can offer.”
Concept-wise, the permanent outlet is pretty much similar to the six-month pop-up store the brand had at Singpost Centre earlier in May. It’s a half-digital-half-physical shopping experience, where customers can use the IUIGA app on their phones to access product information using radio-frequency identification technology, cashless payment options, and location-based store recommendations. Items can be loaded onto online carts and arranged for home delivery.
“Technology, combined with an offline presence allows IUIGA to funnel every offline shopper to the online customer journey, essentially converting them into an online customer,” says Chan.
In other words, you can still get the same shopping experience if you simply order online — but this time, you get to feel and test out products first at Retail+ stores.
IUIGA Retail+ is at #B1-41, Causeway Point, 1 Woodlands Square
Open daily 10:30am-10:30pm