From immersive Town stores to high-performing AIRism masks, UNIQLO Singapore continues to enrich the lives of customers
The company wins the Apparel Retailer of the Year - Singapore award.
While retailers were closing physical stores during the pandemic last year, UNIQLO worked on expanding its key city stores with the goal to revive Orchard Road and drive traffic back.
In spite of setbacks, UNIQLO found an opportunity to reimagine customer and community engagement, anchored on their brand mission to use the power of clothing to make the world a better place.
Yuki Yamada, CEO of UNIQLO Singapore and Malaysia, says, “I firmly believe that companies that can stay close to what customers want, be adaptive to new environments, and provide the best customer experience, are always needed. At UNIQLO, we try to understand how society is changing, and what customers want and need. We then mold that information into clothing that will, in turn, enable people to create new lifestyles and new values.”
This keen attention to the needs of customers, along with the company’s penchant for innovation, has led to their Apparel Retailer of the Year - Award at the Retail Asia Awards 2021.
Pivoting product offerings to serve the needs of the community
With the pandemic, the face mask becomes an indispensable item to lead a healthy life. This led UNIQLO to develop a new product category in AIRism masks. Optimising protection and comfort for daily use, the AIRism mask is silky smooth on the skin and has a triple-layer mesh structure that keeps it light, thin, and breathable. It is also a reusable and washable mask, catering to customer values of sustainability and reduced environmental impact. Given consumer demands and the brand’s ability to pivot quickly to cater to those needs, UNIQLO’s AIRism mask was immediately declared the number one selling product in its first week
UNIQLO has also made sure to give back to the Singapore community. They partnered with food delivery platform foodpanda, to distribute a mask each to its full fleet of delivery riders whose essential work was indispensable during the Singapore Circuit Breaker. In support of efforts to counter the spread of the pandemic, UNIQLO further donated more than 12,000 pieces of AIRism innerwear to healthcare workers and 5,000 pieces for the foreign worker community under quarantine or recovering at community facilities.
Introducing a new retail destination concept
Despite a strong online presence, UNIQLO knew its physical stores are as, if not more, important. Experiential retail, where UNIQLO has been a leader pre-pandemic, remains the key in inviting consumers back to physical stores. As soon as Singapore began its Phase 2 of reopening, UNIQLO knew it had to look for ways to excite its customers in-stores. The brand introduced a new retail destination concept - UNIQLO Town - where consumers can shop and engage in activities at the three stores at Orchard Road, Orchard Central Global Flagship, Plaza Singapura and ION.
Since July 2020 following the reopening, UNIQLO observed an average of 130% increase in foot traffic across all UNIQLO Town stores. As a new retail destination concept, each of the three stores boasts a distinct retail personality, offering shoppers varied experiences, from sustainability to local arts and culture. In the long run, the brand’s endeavour is for customers to look to UNIQLO as a hallmark of positive retail experiences that meet their aspirations for sustainability, arts and culture, as well as creative expression.
In-store engagement activities such as the holiday calligraphy workshop and Jason Polan UT drawing events were well-received by the customers and were oversubscribed.
Innovating to offer shopping convenience
On the e-commerce front, UNIQLO continues to improve efficiency and transform their distribution system to ensure swift delivery of online purchases. UNIQLO also continues to identify ways of making both the physical and virtual shopping experience as seamless as possible. These include the implementation of a ‘price tag scanner’ function, where customers are able to view details and information of a product simply by scanning its price tag; and a new payment function where customers are able to pay for an item in store to secure stock of an item online. Ultimately, their goal is to become the world’s most advanced retail industry format that intelligently fuses online and physical store operations for shoppers.
Watch the interview below to know more about their winning project: