Furniture and homeware shopping get interesting

Furniture and homeware shopping get interesting
From left: Mr Terence Chan, Miss Jayashrree Mani.

Chillax Market
200 Turf Club Road, The Grandstand
Opening in October. 9am to 8pm daily

New happenings are abuzzing at The Grandstand. The former Turf City is known among foodies for its dining options that include Pasarbella and TungLok Xihe Peking Duck Restaurant, while parents know it as the place to keep their little ones busy over the weekend.

Now, add shopping for homeware to the list of things to do at The Grandstand. Chillax Market, touted as Singapore's first permanent indoor retail market, will open its doors in the first two weeks of October.

Spanning 6,900 sq feet, Chillax Market will house 30 tenants, including an art gallery, nail bar, hair salon and cafe.

Some of its homeware tenants include Modern Eclectic Living, a vintage-inspired furniture store; Gezel Home Accessories, which retails rustic European-inspired home accessories such as cushions, baskets, and candle stands that are handmade in Vietnam; and Bowerbird, which sells Fair Trade Certified ceramic wares handmade by Vietnamese artisans.

Chillax Market began in 2012 as a quarterly pop-up outdoor market outside Tanglin Shopping Centre.

Two years on, its co-founder Nana Stuurman decided to find it a permanent space. She notes that the challenge for many startups and small business owners is the difficulty of scaling without taking on substantial risks and long term commitments.

"High rental, tightened manpower requirements, competition from large chains and franchises - these are huge deterrents that prevent small businesses from growing," she says.

"By working collaboratively with a pool of other small businesses, tenants get to have a permanent physical space without the risks of overheads they would otherwise be unable to afford."

She adds that being housed under one roof, tenants can leverage on each other's promotional efforts.

"Being part of the Chillax Market community also offers the different tenants an ecosystem of support that has synergy rather than be competitive," she says.

The space, designed by Singapore-based British firm Elliott James, is styled with a country European feel, taking inspiration from London's Portobello Market and Paris' Les Puces de Saint-Ouen.

Tenants pay a monthly rental fee for a designated space, and their sole focus is on their products, as the management takes care of the operational side of things such as renovations, electricity, staffing and marketing.

Tenant selection is based not only on the type of products each vendor carries to suit Chillax Market's vibe and positioning, but also on whether their products are unique, trendy, practical, well-priced and well-made.

"We want to offer customers a retail experience unlike any they've ever had," says Ms Stuurman.

While each tenant will have their individual shop fronts a la outdoor European markets, paying for the goods will be done at a central till, so customers can pick out items from different vendors and make payment only once when they are done.

Ms Stuurman says it is a win-win situation for Chillax Market to be at The Grandstand.

"This place is a great lifestyle destination that is outside the central shopping belt yet still reasonably accessible. The food and beverage scene within the area draws in a good crowd and we feel that the entry of Chillax Market will add to the vibrancy of The Grandstand," she says.

Modern Electic Living's founder Jane Warner says that Chillax Market provides an exciting opportunity for her to showcase the brand's new collections in an inspirational industrial style space.

"This atmosphere will be further enhanced by our new Eclectic cafe, flower bar and art gallery, engaging customers in a new multi-sensory showroom experience," says Ms Warner.

"Far more than a static display of furniture, customers will get to have lunch or coffee whilst enjoying the art, floral displays, and furniture amidst 2,000 sq ft of 'living' space."

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