Revamped SingPost Centre features new retail technology

 Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim (right) at the official launch of the redeveloped SingPost Centre in Paya Lebar on Monday, Oct 9, 2017.
Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim (right) at the official launch of the redeveloped SingPost Centre in Paya Lebar on Monday, Oct 9, 2017. ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR
Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim at the official launch of the redeveloped SingPost Centre in Paya Lebar on Monday, Oct 9, 2017.
Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim at the official launch of the redeveloped SingPost Centre in Paya Lebar on Monday, Oct 9, 2017. ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

SINGAPORE - The redeveloped SingPost Centre in Paya Lebar was officially launched on Monday (Oct 9) with the first "smart" post office and a new FairPrice supermarket that will serve as a testing ground for new initiatives in retail technology.

Located next to the Paya Lebar MRT station, the centre houses a shopping centre, the country's largest post office and SingPost's flagship Philatelic Store.

The 5,328 sq ft General Post Office is the first of SingPost's smart post offices, featuring a dedicated self-service area with POPStation lockers, upgraded SAM machines offering remittance and other postal services and a drop box for registered articles, accessible at all hours.

The new drop box allows customers to skip the queue by weighing their parcels and printing labels at the SAM machines before depositing them, said SingPost head of post office network and digital services Bernard Leong.

Unmanned smart post offices will be rolled out in estates with young families, such as Punggol and Sengkang, in the next one to two years, he added.

Mr Mervyn Lim, SingPost's deputy group chief executive (corporate services), said: "The launch of SingPost Centre underscores SingPost's transformation for a future where technology is changing how people shop, dine and play."

The mall's committed occupancy rate as at Sept 30 was about 80 per cent, he added.

The five-storey mall, managed by CapitaLand, has 130 tenants including Golden Village, FairPrice, a Kopitiam foodcourt and a rock-climbing gym.

Apart from bubble tea chain Gong Cha's return to Singapore later this year (2017) with its flagship outlet in the mall, other new F&B concepts include a food hall designed to look like the old Tanjong Pagar Railway Station and Taiwanese hotpot chain Upot.

FairPrice's 22,000 sq ft supermarket, also launched on Monday, is piloting several new initiatives, including the FairPrice@SingPost mobile app that allows customers to locate products with in-store navigation and check stock availability.

The app, available for download on Apple and Android app stores, also gathers data on shopping habits to deliver user-specific promotions.

The store will integrate the Scan2Go system currently in use at its Bukit Timah Plaza outlet, where customers can scan purchases with a personal handheld scanner as they shop and pay at self-checkout counters.

It is also the first supermarket to feature self-checkout counters that can be converted to cashier-assisted ones in under a minute, to accommodate crowd sizes.

Refrigerated lockers will be piloted at the SingPost Centre branch for the self-collection of online purchases, while an "experiential corner" in the store will allow brands to engage customers using augmented and virtual reality, digital games and interactive booths.

Speaking at the launch, FairPrice chief executive Seah Kian Peng said: "This technology-driven supermarket will serve as a "living lab" to pilot new and innovative retail technologies, designed to revolutionise the grocery shopping experience."