Japan chain to open 1st overseas store here

An artist's impression of the Lumine Singapore outlet in Clarke Quay Central, which will occupy about 10,000 sq ft of space on the second floor of the mall. Its products are targeted at the fashion-loving working woman, and it will offer chic Japanes
An artist's impression of the Lumine Singapore outlet in Clarke Quay Central, which will occupy about 10,000 sq ft of space on the second floor of the mall. Its products are targeted at the fashion-loving working woman, and it will offer chic Japanese fashion and lifestyle brands.PHOTO: LUMINE

Premium department store Lumine opening Clarke Quay Central outlet in November

Established Japanese fashion chain Lumine will open its first outlet outside Japan in Clarke Quay Central in November.

It will occupy about 10,000 sq ft of space on the second floor of the mall and will offer chic Japanese fashion and lifestyle brands with a focus on versatility, style and comfort. Its products are targeted at the fashion-loving working woman.

In March, Lumine debuted casual womenswear label Shenery, which was jointly developed with Japanese apparel and accessory store operator Pal Group Holdings.

A Lumine Singapore spokesman said it is firming up collaboration details with certain popular and exclusive brands in Japan and will release the brand names for its store here at a later date.

Lumine (pronounced Lu-min- neh) was established in 1966 and is recognised by the Japanese as a premium lifestyle-destination department store. It has 16 outlets around Japan, including in Shinjuku and Ikebukuro in Tokyo. Lumine will be the newest Japanese department store in Singapore, joining Isetan, which opened here in 1972, and Takashimaya, which opened at Ngee Ann City in 1993.

Lumine will also compete against a host of popular Japanese brands here such as Uniqlo, Daiso and Muji. Muji will open its first flagship store in South-east Asia at Plaza Singapura on July 21 while Uniqlo's flagship store opened at Orchard Central last September.

Singapore has seen Japanese department stores come and go - the Parco Marina Bay outlet in Millenia Walk opened in 2010 and closed in 2014. Seiyu, which had stores at Bugis Junction, Junction 8 and Lot 1, had its outlets here bought over by Chinese retail giant Beijing Hualian Group (BHG) in 2005.

Japanese brands such as fashion chain Lowrys Farm and lifestyle store Francfranc were popular in their native country but bowed out of the Singapore market relatively quickly. Lowrys Farm closed its eight outlets here in 2015 after three years, while Francfranc shuttered in 2014 after two years. While brands like Muji and Uniqlo are much loved here, it remains to be seen if Lumine's labels will fare as well at a time of retail sluggishness.

Mr Andrew Tan, 40, who founded Japanese lifestyle store atomi in 2009 with his Japanese wife, asked if "we need another department store" here. "I think Clarke Quay is better known for its nightlife and F&B - even nearby Liang Court is best known for its supermarket and not so much for retail shopping."

But Ms Sarah Lim, retail expert and senior lecturer at Singapore Polytechnic, is optimistic the new tenant will succeed at Clarke Quay Central. "It would strengthen the position of the mall as a Japanese one. There are already a lot of Japanese F&B outlets there, so Lumine will complement the mall."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 07, 2017, with the headline 'Japan chain to open 1st overseas store here'. Print Edition | Subscribe