Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Chicco Opens First Concept Store for Southeast Asia in Singapore

To be able to check out Chicco First Concept Store in Singapore together with my two happy pills, Kaiser and Rayes, was definitely the most exciting and fun thing to do as a family!

As a mummy, I am interested in products that can satisfy my kids' needs during every stage of their development.  All parents will definitely be keen if they want the best for their kids.  Hence when i received the invitation to attend the media preview of Chicco First Concept Store Opening together with my kids, I say 'yes' immediately!

When I told the two boys that mummy will be bringing them to a "baby shop", a week before the official opening, both of them kept asking me everyday when they can go.  They were looking forward to this outing with me... lol!

Chico First Concept Store in Singapore

Chicco, the largest baby brand in Europe established since 1958, officially launches its first Southeast Asia concept store at Tanglin Mall, Singapore on 15 October 2016. The store is also the largest in Asia with a total of 4,400 square feet. 

A family photo at the photo wall made from balloons
As a firm believer in the philosophy that “Every Moment Matters”, the Chicco concept store boasts an impressive selection of state-of-the-art products that caters to the varied needs of children during every stage of their development - from newborns to children up to 8 years of age.
Priding itself as a one-stop retail destination for parents, parents-to-be and babies, shoppers can expect to find their next baby essential at the store, which ranges from trendy fashion apparel and baby feeding bottles to strollers and highchairs, and everything in between. 

In a bid to make the shopping experience simpler and fuss-free for all shoppers, the Chicco concept store is fitted with a guided path and it is delineated with attractive colours, easily readable icons and imagery for its different categories of products. Built to exude a comfortable and inviting shopping atmosphere, the store aims to support shoppers as they navigate through the different selling areas within the store and look for the right products to suit their children’s needs.

Great Quality Baby Essentials for Everyone, Regardless Of Budget

Chicco understands every parent and child’s need for the best quality products that work seamlessly with their lifestyles, hence the 58-year-old brand practices tiered pricing to ensure their products are accessible to all shoppers. Most of the products sold in store include alternative variations of the same product which are sold at different prices - this is such that there is something for everyone, regardless of their shopping budget! Chicco is also proud of its homogenous pricing model, where shoppers in Singapore can enjoy similar prices for the products sold here, as with the same products that are sold in Europe.

Dedicated in its pursuit towards understanding more about the needs of children during their early stages of development, Chicco’s very own Research & Development Centre, also known as Osservatorio Chicco, diligently studies and innovates products that help make growing up a much more enjoyable and convenient journey for every child. Chicco promises only the best and safest products for every child. 

Just look at my little Rayes, enjoying the treats... lol!
There was a play station set up for all the kids to play with the toys

I had the honour of being able to interview Mr Stefano Colombo, Head of Asia & Emerging Markets at Artsana Group (Chicco) in a one to one setting.  Thanks Word of Mouth Communications for arranging this!

Mr Stefano is an affable gentleman, who didn't display any airs when chatting with me.  When I told him that I may mispronounce the word Chicco as "Chic-co" in the course of interview when it is meant to be pronounced as "Kee-co", Mr Stefano smiled and said it was ok as people from different countries have their own unique ways of pronouncing the brand name.  

He went on to tell me how people in countries like France, Italy, USA etc have different versions of pronounciation and we had a good laugh over it.  He also mentioned that as long as people recognise the Chicco Brand, it doesn't really matter how we pronounce it.  He's such a cool guy and it made the interview so much easier!

Mr Stefano Colombo, Head of Asia & Emerging Markets at Artsana Group (Chicco)

Exclusive Interview with Mr Stefano Colombo

 What is the philosophy behind the Chicco brand? 

I would like to define the philosophy behind the Chicco brand with three points:

Whatever there is a baby and whatever the baby needs, we have a solution through our product offerings.

Chicco brand means something safe.  Safety is very important especially hence when children are involved.

Functionality is important too besides safety, eventually, the parents also want something functional and practical.

What can parents and parents-to-be expect at the new Chicco store in Tanglin Mall? 

Wherever there is a Chicco store whether it is in Singapore or other regions and not just referring to flagship stores, we have consultants that can explain to parents, not only the features of the products, which is an important part of the selling process but parents can also receive very useful suggestions on how to satisfy specific needs of the children.

That is what people can expect.  With a lot of information from our consultants, this will eventually help parents make the best decisions.

What are the best-selling products at Chicco and why do you think they perform so well?

I can definitely give a lot of examples as we have a number of best-selling products around the world.  For instance, one of them is our co-sleeping concept, which is the Next 2 Me, a very successful product meant to offer a useful solution.  Every parent experiences the fact that the baby wakes up at night and starts to scream and cry.  Usually the solution is to bring the baby to the bed with them, which is nice and even myself did that many years ago.  It is a mistake as it is an invasion of territory.

This product generates a solution as it reassures the baby that he/she is close to the parents but at the same time, there is no invasion of parents’ space.

Mummies, especially, need to wake up 2 to 3 times in the night to breastfeed the baby.  It is very comfortable as one side of the crib is open and placed next to the parents’ bed.

There is easy access to the baby and parents can comfort the baby if the baby is crying or bring him/her to the bed to go for the breastfeeding.

Next 2 me
We also have a number of strollers which are very well selling. An example, if you want to talk about a specific model, I would definitely say, the Bravo travel system, which is a fantastic product.  It can be converted into a travel system, for example, a car seat.

Bravo System
Chicco toys have very interesting concepts and we focus a lot on safety and offer a wide choice satisfying the need of children of different ages.

Toys for both Kaiser and Rayes
We also have products for nursing, although we do not recommend shifting from breast feeding/natural feeding to artificial feeding.

But if there is an issue with breast feeding or If there are any reasons that baby can’t do breast feeding/natural feeding, we have solutions for that. Our feeding bottle lines are best selling items.
Feeding Bottles for different stages
Last but not least, our apparels and shoes are very functional.  To be honest with you, I don’t believe too much in fashion.  Practicality is more important especially kids’ shoes.

Many of our clothes are functional in the sense that they are practical and we try to segment every occasion of use by function.   We do try to incorporate functionality into Italian fashion.

Clothes for babies to 8 years old

How does Chicco stand out from other popular baby brands in Singapore?  

Well I think the main reason why we stand out from other popular baby brands is that we are the only retailer with a mono brand that puts all the cross category products under the same roof.

I do not like to talk bad about competitors because I respect them a lot.

Some of our competitors are good in fashion, accessories, etc.  Yet only Chicco can create a one stop destination store with a wide range of different products and that makes Chicco different.

Chicco has its own R&D team for its in-house products. Please share more about the process behind creating a product and why the R&D team was set up!  

All our products are designed and eventually engineered in house, even if some are not manufactured in our own factories.

It is the only way to make sure they acquire the level of safety we want for the children.  We do not want to run into problems, not just to make it convenient for us but to ensure that our products which are available to kids around the world are safe.

Most of the Chicco prdts are basically created after years of observation on kids’ behavour.

How we do that? First of all, we do it via the Chicco research lab and we practically do observation on kids, through our in-house kindergarten. It was a nursing center and eventually became a kindergarten.  It was a decision by the founder of company several years ago as a service for the employees but eventually we open it to all kids.  We do not invade or interfere with their daily activities.  It is the perfect place to observe how kids behave, interact, play, sleep, eat, etc. We find out their specific needs through this way, in an almost scientific way.

So our process to creating a new product is through observation, design, engineering and eventually the final product.

Chicco practices homogenous pricing for its products – meaning that consumers are able to purchase your products here in Singapore for the same price as if they were to purchase them in Europe. Why the decision to do so? 

The world in general is becoming very global so it is easy for people to check the internet the current price of a product, for example in Italy or USA. We want to keep a solid reputation of a very straight-forward and honest brand.  As simple as that.


Thank you Mr Stefano for granting a media interview with me!

All the kids got to have ballrooms twisted into different shapes to make into something unique
All the kids also got to play with the toys in the store.  It was like a big playground for them!

For all the invited media and social media influencers, we had the chance to participate in an Editor's Choice activity where we got 3 stickers each and we could go around the store pasting the stickers on the items which were our top 3 favourites and Chicco might just gift them to us.  As both Kaiser and Rayes are 6 and 3 respectively, I chose items that are suitable for them.  Take a look at what I chose.  I am praying hard that I get to bring them home too for my two Happy Pills!

A tracksuit with pants for Kaiser
This scrambler Ducati Balance Bike which be suitable for Kaiser who doesn't know how to ride a bicycle yet.
Twist for Two...This is perfect for Rayes!
See how comfortable he is! 
My two kids having so much fun time!

To check out Chicco products, do visit Chicco’s first concept store for Southeast Asia located at the following address:
Chicco Singapore
#02-17/18 Tanglin Mall 
163 Tanglin Road

Thanks Chicco Singapore for having me and my boys at your official First Concept Store Opening!

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