Courts Singapore, a home electronics, IT and furniture retailer here, will launch its redesigned megastore in Tampines on Saturday, a highlight of its $10 million investment to refurbish all its retail stores here.
The 136,000 sq ft flagship store will boast new retail concepts and showroom areas, following a year of planning and two months of renovation work.
A gallery area and design studio, for example, showcase furniture and other home products in spaces resembling Housing Board homes. This will let customers experience the products and visualise them in a living space, as well as discuss interior design options with furniture consultants.
A "customisation zone" allows customers to view various options for made-to-order products, such as sofas, dining sets, curtains and wardrobes, and place their orders too.
The opening comes as consumers are shopping online more. However, Courts Asia group chief executive Terry O'Connor noted that many Singaporeans still buy items from brick-and-mortar shops.
According to the Household Expenditure Survey 2012/2013 - the latest available - almost a third of households bought at least one item online and spent an average of $260 a month online, or only 4 per cent of what they spent in total.
Mr O'Connor added that while there may be fewer physical stores in the future, there will always be a need for them to provide customers with better, real-life experiences.
Number of products offered in Courts' online store, an increase from 14,000. This is compared with around 13,000 products available at the megastore.
Area of the Courts flagship store in sq ft. It will boast new retail concepts and showroom areas, following a year of planning and two months of renovation work.
He said: "Look at Apple and why it needs to open more Apple Stores.
"It is a company that is right at the heart of the digital experience, but still needs to give its customers a physical user experience. Digital-only players cannot survive without a retail touch point, and retail-only players need to go digital too."
That said, Courts is not neglecting its online customers. It will unveil a different look and user interface for its online store, including an improved search feature and faster check-out.
The number of products offered online will also be increased from 14,000 to 17,000. This is compared with around 13,000 products available at the megastore.
Besides investing in its retail and online platforms, Courts has also tripled its staff training funds.
Its staff spent more than 2,000 hours in training courses over the past two months, said Courts Singapore country chief executive Ben Tan.
As a result, he said Courts Singapore achieved a net promoter score of 77 per cent in the past week, the highest it has achieved so far.
This represents the proportion of in-store customers who rate the store nine out of 10 or better.
Said Mr Tan: "Singaporean shoppers want to talk to somebody, and have very high expectations of service.
"This applies to shoppers of all income levels."
The megastore relaunch will feature four weeks of celebrations which will include discounts and deals, and events involving a line-up of celebrities and sports stars, such as Korean star Kim Jong Kook and local singer Joanna Dong, as well as free parking and Internet Wi-Fi connection.