one-north hub offers new retail experience

A tasting bar at the new Cold Storage outlet at Fusionpolis. In line with the communal and experiential concept of the retail hub, the supermarket added two function rooms and a place where people can dine.
A tasting bar at the new Cold Storage outlet at Fusionpolis. In line with the communal and experiential concept of the retail hub, the supermarket added two function rooms and a place where people can dine.ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

Businesses trying out 'experiential concepts' at Fusionopolis' revamped communal space

A communal space for one-north district's residents and workers to shop, eat and gather has reopened after a year of upgrading works.

Renovations to Fusionopolis' retail and recreational hub were completed last December, and it now offers new "experiential concepts" and technology initiatives, giving shoppers a chance to do more than just buy a product or service.

Businesses have been encouraged to try and be different. For instance, hair salon KCut has a photo booth that lets customers try out and pick different hairstyles before going through with a cut.

The Mr Bean outlet has self-service kiosks with a cashless and QR code system of payment.

Following the renovations, more than half of the space has been given over to eateries. Overall, 18 of the 28 tenants are new.

One new tenant is Future Ready Academy, a learning centre teaching digital tools and entrepreneurship to children. Its temporary pop-up stall offered potential customers a mini workshop in basic coding, robotics and programming.

"It is a convergence of art and science, to promote social change, entrepreneurship and innovation," said Mr Jeffrey Nah, chairman of Future Ready Academy.

In this new space, JTC Corporation, which manages Fusionopolis, hopes to promote shopping that is interactive and experiential.

The level one atrium can accommodate 15 to 20 pop-up stalls by entrepreneurs seeking new exposure or hoping to test new products.

Also, some 1,600 sq m of community spaces and amenities have been redesigned to add vibrancy to the 50,000-strong one-north community.

Working with the National Arts Council, JTC has allocated space that can host live performances, themed markets, art installations and other events.

There are art installations such as Milk Bottle Cows, an outdoor light installation of cows built out of over 2,000 recycled milk bottles, which will be on display until May 28.

Mr B. P. Loh, the artist behind the installation, told The Straits Times he hopes to provoke the public to think about the "infinity loop of production, consumption and upcycling" in efforts to preserve the environment.

In line with the communal and experiential concept of the retail hub, Fusionopolis' Cold Storage outlet has added two function rooms and a place to dine inside the supermarket. Customers can book one of the two function rooms through a QR code, with the larger meeting room seating up to 10 people. A space with tables, chairs and charging points lets customers consume their purchases then and there.

JTC spokesman Wee Pei Yean, said retailers are "encouraged to test-bed new concepts and experiences with the tech-savvy audience" to support their vision of a smart nation.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 17, 2018, with the headline 'one-north hub offers new retail experience'. Print Edition | Subscribe