Shoppers stumble over tricky store names

Shoppers stumble over tricky store names
ED ET AL: Edwin Neo is one of the bespoke shoe store’s founders. The store’s name means “Edwin and the others”.

What do women's fashion stores Sum+hing Difrent and et-i-kit, as well as lifestyle household product retailer Spur Hauswerks have in common?

They are Singapore retailers bearing unusual names that may prove a challenge to pronounce for some. Yet, many companies setting up shop here have adopted such newfangled names in recent years.

Benedict Lim, creative director of women's fashion store et-i-kit, said that people get the shop name wrong all the time.

Founded last year, the store derives its name from the dictionary pronunciation of the word "etiquette", which Mr Lim said is a "commonly mispronounced word".

Despite this, he felt that "the shop name can be a conversation starter between friends".

Shaun Tan, retail manager of bespoke shoe store ed et al, said its unique name helps sales "to a certain extent", but being a Singapore company has helped as well.

Founded in 2010, the store's name means "Edwin and the others". The two founders of the company share the same name: Edwin.

"Different customers pronounce the name differently due to the way they enunciate 'et al', but generally, we are able to understand (them)," Mr Tan said.

Spur Hauswerks co-founder Aiden Hopfner said that the store has not had anyone mispronounce its brand name "too dramatically". The store opened in Singapore last year.

"I think our store's unique name helps people remember us. Our branding is also unique, so once people see it, they tend to remember us," said Mr Hopfner.

When presented with a list of six distinctive Singapore shop names, some consumers whom My Paper spoke to could barely manage to pronounce a third of them right, while a few could pronounce none.

Many said they preferred names that were easy to pronounce and remember.

Others - like 25-year-old architect Zhang Xiao Pei, who said that having an unusual shop name is "good for marketing as it is interesting" - found unique names thought-provoking.

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