Online grocery service Honestbee has opened a retail space which merges cashless grocery store with a restaurant and a testbed for new retail technologies.
Habitat by Honestbee in Pasir Panjang is billed as “the world’s first tech-integrated multi-sensory grocery and dining destination of its kind”. While Chinese online behemoth Alibaba may well challenge that claim, Habitat is certainly a revolution in Southeast Asia, boasting a cashless checkout experience and a fully automated robotic collection point, called RoboCollect.
Spanning 60,000sqft, Habitat by Honestbee is a full supermarket with more than 20,000 Asian and global foods and ingredients as well as daily essentials, which can be purchased both online and offline.
The store also features 15 unique food and beverage concepts ranging from grain bowls and grilled wagyu meats to Japanese souffle pancakes and homemade kombuchas, all available to eat on site or take away.
More features are under development, including an invitation-only private dining space, an oyster bar, an entire section devoted to charcuterie and cheese, and a hidden bar.
Honestbee says the new space heralds the arrival of NewGen Retail, a concept defined as “innovation in retail technology that inspires more human engagement for a multi-sensory experience” and not hugely dissimilar to Alibaba’s New Retail concept.
Habitat by Honestbee merges online shopping, app-management and a traditional retail experience all in one.
For purchases of 10 items or less, shoppers can use the Scan & Go function on the Honestbee app, so they can skip the checkout line and get their items on the spot. Those with bigger shopping lists can drop off their trolleys at the convenient AutoCheckout and Habitat will take care of the scanning and packing, with bags ready for collection at the RoboCollect Stations.
Honestbee says customer orders can be processed between checkout and collection in as little as five minutes.
Online grocery orders are fulfilled by ‘Shopper Bees’ (Honestbee staff) using overhead conveyor belts for greater productivity before ‘Driver Bees’ pick them up for delivery.
Purchases can be paid for securely using BeePay, Honestbee’s own digital wallet, either online or offline.
“Habitat by Honestbee is a beautiful, physical extension of the honestbee brand we all love,” said VP and MD at Habitat by Honestbee, Pauline Png.
“With its launch, we now provide tech-enabled convenience, value and quality through food in both the online and offline experience. It is a unique combination of a full supermarket, speciality grocer, dining and interactive lifestyle destination. In this innovative space, one can expect a multi-sensorial food experience that nourishes, educates and inspires. We designed it so that customers can get their groceries and meals efficiently but also linger and enjoy the experience.”