On 3 December, staff from various job functions across 8 malls of Frasers Property Singapore gathered at our Learning Academy for a common purpose – to showcase their placemaking ideas. An idea conceived by Mr Low Chee Wah, Senior Executive Vice President, Head of Retail & Commercial, the objective of the Challenge is to bring the retail team together, provide an official platform for them to collectively share their ideas and involve our people in the process of future-proofing our malls.
The first-of-its-kind Challenge brought together 48 staff across the retail division where they had 8 weeks to brainstorm, plan and come up with ideas for the full-day Challenge.
Mr Low Chee Wah attempting a wefie with the judges and participants.
Explaining the genesis of the challenge, Mr Low said: “The retail landscape is changing and it is important for us to remake the malls to be a place where shoppers and the community can identify with beyond just a marketplace for transactions. The teams are to come up with placemaking ideas to engage the shoppers and visitors to the malls so as to create memorable experiences. The staff at the property level already have a keen sense of what goes on at their malls, and through this challenge, we wanted to give them an opportunity to showcase their ideas and cultivate a strong sense of ownership of their mall.”
The challenge statement is:
How can we make the mall a place where people want to visit, and linger?
The judges getting ready for the first presentation. From left to right: Ms Molly Lim, SVP, Head of Retail Properties, Mr Richard Ng, Executive Vice President, Head of Asset Management and Ms Jill Ng, SVP, Head of Strategic Marketing
Over the 8 weeks, the teams had to brainstorm their ideas, worked out budgeting and implementation costs with vendors and suppliers, and came up with creative methods to sell their ideas to the judges.
Mr Richard Ng, Executive Vice President, Head of Asset Management said, “This challenge offers them a formal platform to share their creative ideas, and the element of competition also motivates participants to put on their thinking cap when it comes to ideation. It has created learning opportunities for everyone, and it definitely fosters closer relationship between co-workers in a fun environment.”
Mr Low Chee Wah addressing the participants at the start of the Challenge.
“To unlock the potential use of spaces and amenities within the mall, there needs to be creative thinking by the teams without compromising on the potential income from lettable areas. In the past, the focus has very much been on maximising the yield of spaces. It is heartening to see the level of energy and competitiveness amongst the teams and the amount of effort they have put in.” added Ms Molly Lim, SVP, Head of Retail Properties.
The teams took turns to present their ideas and engaged in thought-provoking exchanges with the judges and the audiences. More than just ideas, the teams are expected to come up with feasible ideas which can be implemented post-challenge.
To impress the judges, the teams put their best foot forward through role play, video presentations and 3D layout perspectives.
Taking into consideration the unique propositions and constraints of their malls, some of the teams came up with prototypes built in-house to demonstrate their ideas. Some notable ideas include a self-operating machine for chill-out corner, tapping on virtual spaces to engage customers, and weaving recycling with art to create community engagement within the mall.
First row: The Cornerstone (Anchorpoint & YewTee Point), Team at Causeway Point Second row: The Creative Placemakers (The Centrepoint), d' 'N' Squad (Northpoint City) Third row: E-POP (Bedok Point & Changi City Point), Innova (Waterway Point)
Janice Ang, Marketing Manager, Waterway Point said, “We had to factor in planning and procurement, feasibility in setting up, how to promote our ideas, budgetary constraints, and the entire process made us realise how much more we could do with our spaces. It also bridges the gap with the management and staff at the property level.”
Smiles were aplenty as the teams tried their best to showcase their ideas in a way that resonates with the judges and audiences.
Team d’N’squad, consisting of the team from Northpoint City, put the team’s acting skills to the test with a fully scripted comic video, wowed everyone with a 3D perspective view of their ideas, and even prepared gifts for everyone. Team E-POP, consisting of team members from Bedok Point and Changi City Point, were dressed to kill (pun intended), with each team member portraying a shopper profile of their malls. Their multi-sensory presentation included a scent diffuser to capture everyone’s attention and a demonstration of their drink and gift-dispensing machine prototype.
From distribution of goodies to role play, and demonstration through physical prototype to personalised gifts to captivate the judges, there were plenty of surprise elements throughout the day.
The upbeat and enthusiastic participation in the Challenge showed that a motivated and engaged workforce would display a strong sense of ownership towards their work. It was further reflected in the new and improved ideas that were presented.
“This is a break from our usual discussions and meetings, and brings together people from various malls and job functions. It also provided us with a platform to present ideas which could be easily heard and adopted for implementation.” Franz Lagania, Building Manager, Changi City Point said.
The session was kept light-hearted, with the judges occasionally exchanging witty banter with the teams. The exchange of information and the judges’ line of questioning presented opportunities for everyone to learn as they went along.
The Challenge also allowed staff from different malls to mingle and exchange ideas.
The presentations were judged based on originality, attractiveness, inclusiveness, executability, cost to benefit, relevance, and innovativeness. Bonus points were also awarded if the concept could be replicated across a few malls. After much deliberation, The Creative Placemakers, The Cornerstone, and E-POP, were placed as the top 3 teams. Congratulations to all!
When asked if this Challenge will continue with a second run, Mr Low said that he does not rule out the possibility of having other thematic challenges. Till the next one then!