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Designers in Singapore reimagining an omni-channel retail experience

Chemistry’s team of designers in Singapore were engaged by Phoon Huat, a loved, locally owned brand to reimagine their retail experience. In order to push their consumer brand, Redman, into to the modern, digital age, we created an omnichannel, transmedia shopping experience for Phoon Huat’s customers. By marrying a user-friendly digital platform with the spatial design of their store, we were able to build a retail experience that matched the brand’s popularity.

Redman by Phoon Huat 

Chemistry, designers in singapore created a digital UI to go along with the spatial design
Redman’s omni-channel retail experience

Phoon Huat Pte Ltd has been providing quality baking goods to businesses and the community since 1947. The first little ‘mom & pop’ store was established in Middle Road by Hainanese entrepreneur Wong Tai Fuang. The business has since grown into a household name with honesty and reliability as the cornerstone of its success. Presently, with 11 stores nationwide, the business continues to grow under the leadership of Wong’s descendants. 

Hiring Chemistry’s team of designers in Singapore 

In 2011, Phoon Huat engaged Chemistry to reimagine the customer-facing portion of their brand. In line with the company’s logo, Phoon Huat’s team decided on the name “Redman”. They created this brand in order to represent a unique point of difference in the minds of their customers and stakeholders. In order for us to better understand the brand direction, we gathered data on their current and potential customers. While we were tasked with modernising the brand and pushing into relevancy, we wanted to leverage on the existing ethos.

This was because this spirit of honesty and reliability made the brand a household name. We did this by expanding on the public’s perception of Phoon Huat as a traditional, neighbourhood “mom & pop” store. The aim was for customers to feel the same honesty and reliability even though Redman was upscaling. Beyond that, the data also indicated that variety, quality and price were major touch-points. Thus, we pushed to position Redman as:

A national brand that sells high quality goods sourced from all over the world at competitive prices.

The interior of Redman's flagship store in Start Vista mall
Redman, Star Vista

In 2017 Phoon Huat was to launch their first RedMan flagship store in the recently opened Star Vista mall. After solidifying Redman as the champion of their consumer front, it was time to evolve their business. Phoon Huat once again engaged us to devise a spatial and digital design for the store. After research was gathered and synthesised, we created a prototype that would accommodate the community narrative over multiple channels.

How designers in Singapore created an omni-channel retail experience

Our team followed a human-centric design approach to understand the vast spectrum of shoppers that visit Redman. We took into account their needs as shoppers, their motivations as bakers, and their expectations as customers. Subsequently, we designed an integrated online platform that worked in tandem with the physical space. This was in order to create an omni-channel customer experience that integrates different customer’s shopping styles. Furthermore, the space encourages learning and discovery for new customers curious about baking. Apart from reorganising their stock keeping units and optimising the spatial design for efficient way-finding, we introduced features that would engage the community as well. Modelled after an open-kitchen, the Kitchen Pod feature of the store invites customers to discover and conceptualise new ideas for baking. The space also serves as an area for bakers and chefs to hold demonstrations or classes. 

The online interface of Redman's new website
Redman’s online store

The omni-channel impact

The complete re-imagination of the retail experience turned Redman into an absolutely baking wonderland. The transformation of Phoon Huat’s original retail model brought the brand into the 21st Century. The omni-channel amalgamation of spatial and digital design positions Redman as a modern brand ahead of the competition. In addition, the comprehensive makeover of Redman’s digital presence enabled an engaging and sophisticated online experience. We ensured a seamless user interface with optimal user experience. This repositioned the brand as a viable player in the online space and completely revolutionised the way Phoon Huat serves and connects with their customers.

“Since we opened the new store, our customers have been discovering products they never realised we had!” 

Tjen Chew Lee (CFO, Phoon Huat)


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