Lagardère Travel Retail reveals new ‘Discover Singapore’ store at Changi T2

By Luke Barras-hill |

Changi was one of the first airports to debut the travel retailer’s ‘Discover’ concept, highlighting sense of place and local hospitality to travellers passing through Singapore.

Lagardère Travel Retail has opened a new gifts and souvenirs concept store at Singapore Changi Airport’s Terminal 2 departure hall.

Discover Singapore’s inviting storefront welcomes travellers into a space that features a number of multi-sensory touchpoints.

This plays through in the architecture, from the detailed tiles motif to louvre shutter inspired wooden wall shelf product displays and Peranakan-style touches instore.

Clearly visible category zoning signage is present across the four main selections: local delicacies, fashion, wellness, artisanal gifts and recommended picks.

So-called ‘Singlish’ – a combination of Singaporean slang and English – features as part of the store’s visual communications.

Meanwhile, a centrepiece nods to Singapore’s hawker culture, which according to Singapore’s National Heritage Board forms ‘an integral part of the way of life of Singaporeans’.

‘MerMer’ mascot

This involves people gathering at hawker centres to dine and bond over their favourite dishes – from Chinese and Malay to Indian and other diverse choices – in a true expression Singapore’s multiculturalism.

Hawker culture was inscribed as Singapore’s first element on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2020.

The new ‘Discover Singapore’ concept store has launched at  Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2.

Lagardère Travel Retail Singapore and Malaysia Chief Executive Officer Ann Pang said: “The new concept further accentuates a true expression of Singapore’s rich multi-cultural heritage with distinctive designs echoing the city’s diverse cultural precincts, architecture, and traditional ethnic motifs.

“This unique interpretation is reflected through the implementation of Peranakan-style influenced elements instore: the hybridisation of Chinese and Southeast Asian countries’ culture where the Chinese people immigrated since the 15th Century.”

MerMer has been constructed using recyclable Poly (methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) that emits no toxic or carcinogenic, mutagenic, teratogenic or other undesirable elements.

‘Pick & Mix’ zone

The Discover Singapore shop highlights hawker culture via a ‘Pick & Mix’ zone showcasing a range of gifts, supported by the newly created Discover Singapore mascot ‘MerMer’.

“We are delighted to introduce Discover Singapore’s rendition of Merlion, MerMer, in conjunction with the new concept store opening and the 50th anniversary of Merlion, the national icon that is recognised around the world and a symbol well-resonate with tourism over the years,” continued Ann.

“Upon entering the store, MerMer is seen greeting the travellers with a welcome message on the digital screen that exudes his fun-loving, energetic and approachable character interacting with shoppers.

“As MerMer is also passionate about sharing his exploration journey in Singapore, he plays the role in recommending some of the best handpicked Merlion-themed merchandise catered at the Pick & Mix zone, consisting of figurines, plush, stationery, shopping bags, travel pouches and more.”

Exclusive MerMer merchandise is due to launch next year with more innovations in the pipeline, adds Lagardère Travel Retail

The new store also acts to reinforce the company’s approach to driving sustainable development and leveraging green technology.

A number of circular initiatives have been deployed covering areas including modular and reusable hoarding used during construction to the fabrication of in-store fixtures.

Examples include the use of eco-board, recycled plastic and cast acrylic sheet for craft fixtures.

The eco-board is made from agricultural waste, rice husks and straw to reduce the reliance on wood materials and deforestation, while selected countertops are made from recycled milk bottles collected in Singapore.

High-quality paint made from food waste is used, which is said to contain one of the lowest VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) ratings of any paint available.

Local delicacies are made prominent by category zoning signage supported by localised visual messaging.

It can be tinted to any colour and gloss level, is 100% bio-based, 100% comprised of recycled waste materials, 100% recyclable and is cradle-to-cradle compliant.

Energy efficient lighting relying on projecting light via lenses makes it 20% more effective than conventional lighting using reflector technology, adds Lagardère.

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