Bangkok-based online-to-offline retailer Pomelo Fashion is to open its first physical store in Singapore.
Pomelo Fashion, founded by former Lazada Thailand MD David Jou and which includes JD and Central Group on its shareholder register, sees the move as a logical step in its Southeast Asia expansion ambition.
The vertically integrated business sources its own materials and contracts manufacturing partners to produce the clothes it designs and retails. It allows customers to view and choose a product online before it is shipped direct, or to a store for trying on the fit, thus merging the convenience of online shopping with offline, in-store service.
Despite being headquartered in Bangkok, Pomelo Fashion sees itself as”a global fast-fashion brand for a digital world,” always on-trend and affordable.
Currently, Pomelo Fashion has just two “micro-retail sites” in Bangkok – at Interchange 21 in Asok and at All Seasons Place in the CBD. But it has identified 800 potential sites for such stores in Thailand in the long term. It has also opened short-term pop-up stores in prime shopping areas to help raise the brand’s profile, including a space inside Tang’s department store on Orchard Road. With its buy-and-try business model, the company does not have to shoulder the expense of leasing the larger-footprint stores its offline rivals require to display broad ranges.
“Discovery for fashion is going online, where you’re not constrained by having to display the entire catalogue,” Jou said in a media interview last week. “But e-commerce for fashion is plagued by the problem of returns because the clothes don’t fit or they don’t look good. Having the online-to-offline model cuts down returns because the consumer only buys what they have tried on.”