Singapore tech retailer Challenger defies lacklustre retail trend, opens new 14,000 sq ft store

Yon Heong Tung

Challenger will feature 15 lifestyle concept zones in its new store at Bugis Junction

Singapore’s retail scene is currently experiencing a drastic downturn; many shops’ profits have slashed, large retail chains are folding up, and there’s no light at the end of tunnel, yet. This trend can, undoubtedly, be solely attributed to the explosion of e-commerce in the region.

Singapore tech retailer Challenger is, however, defying this outlook and has today officially launched a new 14,000 sq ft flagship store in Bugis Junction (a replacement for the store it had to shutter in Funan Centre because the mall was demolished).

Drones

A booth for drones

The new store is located in a basement space that was formerly home to Singapore’s largest remaining video arcade (a casualty of online and mobile phone gaming)

It features 15 lifestyle concept zones — or more traditionally known as ‘product categories’. There are zones for printing equipment, smart living products, gaming accessories, audio equipment, action cameras/drones, dirt-cheap lifestyle accessories and more.

Gaming

Get your game on

What is interesting about this store is how Challenger leverages customer transactional data from its e-commerce site Hachi.tech to find out what products to place in the physical store.

Challenger said that the omni-channel approach means it is able to optimise its limited retail space to reap the most sales.

Challenger also said that it is not wary of Hachi.tech eclipsing its retail stores. This is because about 50 per cent of its online customers opt to collect in-store from one of their 40 outlets. The physical store also allows customers to experience and get a feel of the products more accurately, such as the sharpness of an Apple IPad pro.

Fitness

Fitness products include Yoga mats

“We make the Challenger store work harder in the sense that we come up with more experiential concepts or booths, such as the Galaxy Plus VRcade booth,” said an representative from Challenger.

Samsung VR

Experience VR in a moving chair

Hachi.tech is also used as a testbed to stock new kinds of items and measure their reception, before bringing it into the physical store (which would be more costly and time-consuming).

This strategy, in turn, drove Challenger to stock more general non-techie electronic items. For example, it discovered customers liked to buy desktop fans, so they started stocking them at their outlets. Here are some more pictures.

Fans

Take the heat off

Challenger sound

Sound booth

Challenger

Buy all the accessories!!

There are even Rubik cubes

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