Tangs Orchard is whetting shoppers' appetite with a remodelled homeware section that offers interactive zones, fits more people and gives them a better view of cooking demonstrations.
Tangs Home, which opened last Friday, includes three thematic cooking areas - Modern, Retro and Asian - that sell corresponding products.
For example, the classic Smeg fridges in their candy pop colours are available in the Retro zone while the Asian section features woks and steamboat hotpots, among other things. The Modern zone sells products such as knives and cookware and appliances from brands such as German tableware- maker WMF and Danish label Scanpan.
The three zones, housed in the basement of the home-grown department store, have done away with narrow walkways and cramped cooking stations. Instead, proper stoves and mirrors above have been added so that shoppers can look up to catch the cooks in action without being blocked.
There are also interactive coffee, tea and baking zones, where customers can try coffee machines and juicers or sip a freshly brewed cup of speciality tea.
The new Tangs Home also sells bedding and household appliances such as washing machines and vacuum cleaners - segments it has retained from the old store, but increased the range of products.
The new basement area, which was closed off in stages for the renovation, is part of a $45-million facelift that started last year and is slated to be completed next year, when the fashion areas on Levels 2 and 3 are revamped.
Tangs' chief executive officer Foo Tiang Sooi, 60, says Tangs Home now occupies 33,000 sq ft, about 25 per cent more than its previous space, after taking over the former Firefly live music lounge at the Marriott Hotel. "Previously, this area was quite cramped and had the feel of a bazaar. But we updated the look and made the area more organised," he adds.
The emphasis on live demonstrations and niche areas for testing coffee machines and tea was prompted by changes in shopping habits. Mr Foo says: "Over the years, people started becoming hobbyist cooks and coffee connoisseurs who brewed their own coffee. "So we created specific spaces where they can talk to coffee specialists or tea brewers about what they should buy or have their coffee machines serviced."