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Inside Singapore’s mall of the future

 

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A new shopping centre set to open in Singapore mid next year will revolutionise retail for both consumers and retailers, according to the nation’s postal carrier SingPost.

The SPC (Singapore Post Centre) mall is being developed by SingPost and will combine ecommerce and bricks-and-mortar shopping under one roof. SingPost Group CEO, Wolfgang Baier, said in a statement that the company is building a disruptive concept by bringing together online and offline retail.

As the first Singaporean mall with ecommerce logistics solutions, shoppers will be able to browse, make a purchase and arrange for delivery in-store. For purchases made online they will be able to take advantage of the centre’s flexible click-and-collect timings. Retailers will save space as fulfilment will be done in a warehouse.

“Consumers can enjoy the best of both worlds—online and offline—while businesses can potentially cut costs and focus on enhancing customer experiences,” Baier explained. “This is an important shift in mindsets as well as the retail and ecommerce landscapes.”

Baier said the SingPost group views its approach as O2 rather than O2O (online to offline) retail, which will cater to the changing retail landscape and evolving customer needs. “The SPC O2 retail concept puts consumers at the heart of this evolution, allowing them to have greater retail options and more convenience.”

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The centre will feature 25,000 square metres of retail space across five levels, with cinema brand Golden Village Multiplex and café chain Kopitiam confirmed tenants at this stage. It will also be home to SingPost’s flagship post office.

Building a shopping centre with logistical support is a logical evolution for SingPost, which listed on the Singapore Exchange in 2003. The company’s services extend beyond delivering the post; in fact, it has become a leader in ecommerce and operates a number of related businesses and subsidiaries. These include Australia’s CouriersPlease and SP Ecommerce, an Asia Pacific-focused end-to-end ecommerce service that the Alibaba Group recently acquired a 14.51 per cent equity stake in.

Chairman of SingPost, Lim Ho Kee said that the redevelopment of the SPC mall is in line with the company’s wish to maximise shareholder returns through innovation.

“Ever since our IPO in 2003, SingPost has always sought to maximise the returns to our shareholders by realising the full potential of our assets—from human capital to physical assets and resources,” he explained.

“The redevelopment of the retail mall at SPC is part of our efforts to extract maximum value from our property portfolio and support our accelerated transformation from Singapore mail to global ecommerce logistics.”

SingPost’s announcement about its plans for SPC comes soon after the company revealed that it was collaborating with the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) to test drone postal delivery. Behind the company’s innovative thinking is the desire to use technology to improve consumers’ lives, Baier explained at the time.

“SingPost is pioneering ecommerce logistics across Asia Pacific and building ecosystems to facilitate ecommerce for businesses as well as end consumers,” he said. “We are seeing success in our digital transformation which did not happen overnight.

“Our success is made possible through collaborations with industry experts and our business partners. Now, we want to make innovation more accessible and bring more tangible benefits to our customers and consumers.”

 

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