Pedder Group is taking Singapore by storm.
The company launched a fresh concept there this month, called Pedder on Scotts. At 20,000 square feet, it’s the retailer’s largest store to date. Peter Harris, Pedder Group’s president, said the company’s vast knowledge of the region, coupled with consumer demand for more shoe options, spurred the retailer to make a significant statement.
The store was designed by North America- based architect Abraham Chan and Raymond Chan of Hong-Kong based PLY Union.
Its five curated sections are On Pedder (designers such as Aquazzura, Nicholas Kirkwood, Charlotte Olympia, René Caovilla and Sophia Webster, all of whom will have exclusive styles at the store); On Pedder Men (Alexander Wang, Common Proj- ects, Lanvin and Giuseppe Zanotti); New Generation (contemporary brands such as Ash and Sam Edelman); Weekend & Sports (Havaianas, Birkenstock, Adidas, Superga) and Cool Kids (children’s brands such as Stuart Weitzman and Akid).
“As a brand, we stand for whimsy, creativity and excitement. … What a perfect marriage with the new environment at Pedder on Scotts,” said Sam Edelman, designer, founder and division president of the Sam Edelman division at Caleres. “We applaud Peter for his forward thinking and courage in the retail environment.”
In addition to its core brand mix, the store will offer a rotating selection of pop-up kiosks that change every few months to showcase new labels and collaborations. “Presenting each category in a zone, with dedicated square footage, appropriate visual merchandising and skilled team coverage, allows us
to develop a sense of specialty, amplify- ing each category,” said Harris.
To celebrate the launch, Nicholas Kirkwood joined the team in Singapore for a big opening event last week to present his 10-year anniversary capsule collection. Singapore-based artist Theseus Chan contributed visual graphics for the soirée.
“Pedder Group has partnered with Nicholas since the beginning of his career, hosting him several times in Greater China and Southeast Asia, so he was an obvious choice to celebrate with,” said Harris. “He has a strong customer following here, and we were eager to represent him in the market.”
Pedder on Scotts will continue to generate buzz via additional designer appearances over the next few months, including Athletic Propulsion Labs co-founders Adam and Ryan Goldston, René Caovilla and Paul Andrew.
While Pedder Group is forging ahead with growth initiatives, the overall market in Asia has experienced financial struggles and turmoil.
“The last 12 months have been quite challenging in Asia with regard to the China economy, political uncertainty, currency devaluation, property-value adjustment and stock-market repositioning,” said Harris. “That has been amplified by the decrease in value of the euro and the yen, which has made purchasing in those markets attractive.”
In fact, those issues could give the store an even better opportunity to stand out.
“The Singapore retail landscape is dominated by shopping malls, all concentrated on Orchard Road, with duplicate brand offerings,” said Harris. “The department-store model [delivers] brand adjacencies that tend to be quite non-aligned — there is no single service offer, as the individual concessions are responsible for [their own] staffing, with marketing focused on price promotion.”
Plus, Pedder on Scotts is banking on the opportunity to highlight an important market: the athletic category.
“For the last five years, in line with global trends, we have taken a strong position in developing the sports-and-lifestyle component. Dedicated space, as well as a collaborative process with major brands, have been key to delivering customers a new product choice,” said Harris.
Looking ahead, the Pedder Group will roll out similar concepts at some of its Lane Crawford stores in Hong Kong and China, where footwear square footage ranges from 25,000 square feet to 35,000 square feet. “We will be using some of the formats we have developed for Pedder on Scotts in Singapore at our existing locations. We have also been approached by a number of Chinese developers [about] presenting this format in China, which will be reviewed following our first year of operation [in Singapore],” said Harris.