SINGAPORE - Japanese mall Lumine opened its doors on Saturday (Nov 25), welcoming shoppers to its 10,000 sq ft space at Clarke Quay Central.
Shortly after the store opened at 11am, it saw a healthy crowd of shoppers, many with young children, including numerous Japanese fans of Lumine living and working in Singapore.
One of the first shoppers was 38-year-old homemaker Eiko Takeda, who moved to Singapore from Tokyo four months ago. The Lumine fan had her husband, 41-year-old trader Rui Takeda, and their five-year-old son, in tow.
"I read about Lumine opening here on the Internet," she says. "I'm very excited. The things here are very cute. They have a lot of my favourite brands - Tomorrowland, Fray I.D. and Mila Owen." Ms Takeda bought a striped knit top from Tomorrowland.
The Singapore outpost marks Lumine's first store outside of Japan, where it has 15 outlets, four of which are at Tokyo's Shinjuku station.
Lumine Singapore carries 20 Japanese clothing and accessory brands, 17 of which are new to Singapore such as Tomorrowland, Iena, Spick & Span and Mila Owen.
Items in the store have been curated to suit Singaporean women and the local climate.
There is also an area called Lumine Lab, created as a testbed for experimental brands. The first offerings are influencer-based Japanese brands including Emoda, Murua and Mercuryduo.
In a first for Lumine, the store also has its own cafe, where seating areas are equipped with USB charging points. The café serves beverages and fruit parfaits. On Saturday, it was serving up one-for-one mango parfaits, while there will be one-for-one banana parfaits on Sunday.
Lumine Singapore's managing director, Mr Naokazu Kozakai, feels that the store has a lot to offer Singaporeans.
"We sensed a gap in Singapore's retail market, with its increasingly homogenous tenants and players in the retail scene, and Lumine Singapore hopes to fill this gap with unique offerings," he says. "Our business is totally different from others because we have brought in 20 Japanese brands. There is a very strong point of differentiation. We are sure that we can promote a new lifestyle concept with a fusion between Singaporean and Japanese lifestyles."
In the future, Lumine hopes to carry local brands, too.
"Since we are a Japanese company, we have naturally brought in Japanese brands, but we have communicated with Singaporean brands as well, and already have a strong connection to them," Mr Kozakai says.
In addition to providing a platform for Japanese fashion brands to expand their businesses to new markets in Southeast Asia, he adds, "We want to gain knowledge of the overseas retail market and let our staff experience Singapore's retail scene."
On opening weekend, which extends to Sunday, shoppers get a 20 per cent discount on wearable fashion items except those from eyewear brand Zoff, which is offering a 30 per cent discount with a minimum purchase of $300.
Ms Saki Hirashima, 32, who works in interior design and construction, left the store with a bag, a necklace, cardigan, a phone case, three dresses and two pairs of earrings.
"I have been waiting for Lumine to come," says the Tokyo native, who has lived here for two and a half years. "We haven't really had this kind of store in Singapore so my friends and myself have really been waiting for this."
Indicating to her husband who was with her, she said, "Hopefully he can pick out some more clothes for me - and the cheque!"
It is not just Japanese expatriates who are excited about Lumine opening.
Lawyer Elizabeth Low, 32, is a fan of Japanese fashion and plans to head to the store for a look.
"I am excited about this because I love Tomorrowland, Snidel and Lily Brown," she told ST. "I've bought lots of bags and dresses from Lumine stores in Tokyo."
Lumine is at #02-20, 6 Eu Tong Sen Street.
Correction note: This article has been updated to accurately spell Fray I.D. We are sorry for the error.