‘Physical stores remain important’ despite e-commerce boom, says Uniqlo

The Drum 26 Nov 2020 01:00
The retailer sees room to blend both the bricks-and-mortar model as well as e-commerce.

As Singaporeans adapt to a new normal this year brought about by the unprecedented changes of the Covid-19 pandemic, Japanese retailer Uniqlo tells The Drum how it has observed that they are pivoting towards essentials and increasingly prioritising comfort, value and quality.

This means it is imperative Uniqlo continues to meet its consumers’ needs with products at an affordable price, says Joyce Tan, the marketing director at Uniqlo Singapore.

Tan explains that the company’s LifeWear collection is aimed at new lifestyle needs, providing everyday clothing to cater to all occasions, be it telecommuting, indoor workout, lounging at home, or playtime for kids.

“We are committed to providing LifeWear and offering everyday essentials that are quality and timeless while making Uniqlo accessible to everyone. We are also sure to consider the needs of the local community to provide relevant offerings by putting together product ranges that meet specific local needs and evolving lifestyles, such as offering clothes for people working from home, people who are constantly outdoors, people who feel cold in air-conditioned environments, and so on,” she says.

For example, Uniqlo has a ‘Spotlight Corner’ in our Orchard Central flagship store where it collaborates with various local businesses to display their works and the UTme! service where local artists are able to showcase their works in the form of customised t-shirt designs. The upcoming revamped Uniqlo ION store will feature a wall mural specially designed by local illustration, Mindflyer. There are plans to change out the art installation periodically to allow more artists to feature their works.

The campaign aims to inspire Singaporeans to explore the various experiences their country has to offer. At the same time, it encourages Singaporeans to encounter what is familiar and commonplace in a different light, as these ordinary places transform into something special with unordinary experiences.

The focus on supporting communities both in Singapore and around the world to provide relevant offerings to help better their lives has seen Uniqlo pitched in to help healthcare workers who are working at the frontline to fight the pandemic.

Uniqlo is also helping the foreign workers population in Singapore as the virus spread quickly in crowded dormitories for them. Uniqlo has donated clothing for 4,700 foreign workers admitted to Ng Teng Fong General Hospital; the Community Care Facility at the Singapore Expo, and unused HDB multi-storey carparks that have been converted into dormitories.

“In Singapore, we have donated 100,000 masks to medical facilities through the National Healthcare Group and more than 12,300 pieces of Airism innerwear to frontline workers earlier this year to help them keep safe, cool and comfortable when working under warm and humid conditions.”

For example, Uniqlo participated in Singapore’s e-Great Singapore Sale this year again via the Uniqlo website and mobile application. It provided its customers with the resources they needed to ensure the clothes they buy are a good fit. This included a guide on its website to inform them on how to measure clothing and body dimensions.

The retailer sees room to blend both the bricks-and-mortar model as well as e-commerce because it wants to offer differentiated experiences for its customers both online and offline.

“The concepts of these stores are tied strongly to our commitment to helping customers to make effortless sustainable choices, providing clothes that meet their evolving needs, and supporting the local communities.”

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