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The 3 Way Contest Comparing & Contrasting 3 Department Stores: Takashimaya, Tangs & Robinsons

Studio Group Project Report DE2609 Fashion Management Studio | Yvonne Chia

Katherina Er (11299) Venessa Chua (10552) Teo Jia En (12565) Yao Qiong, Bini (11621) FMT4A

Contents Introduction Branding Target Audience A) Store Design Floor Wall Wall Fixtures Floor Fixtures Ceiling B) Unique Features Lights Escalator Lights Mannequins C) Props & Materials D) Graphics & Signages E) Merchandising Mix Conclusion F) Deepest Impression | Winner


It is in our opinion that among the three departmental stores in our given research assignment that Tangs has the most effective display approach in terms of reaching out to their target audience. This is evident through their tightly managed brand image, consistently conveyed in every surface, from their store front, signage, promotional boards to their store displays. This group exercise has also made us realize just how much store displays play a part in influencing consumer behavior yet often as consumers ourselves, we may not pay attention to details when we shop. It is our pleasure to present our research and analysis on what the three department stores have done well or failed to do.

Branding & Target Audience

Beginning with Takashimaya, our team feels that the Japanese owned department store needs a revamp. This is because Takashimaya has existed for a long time and this image has not changed for a while. The image of Takashimaya Singapore is closely tied to the building and shopping mall, Ngee Ann City that has not updated its outward appearance since its existence. When placed along new malls along Orchard road, such as Orchard ION, Takashimaya’s logo and placement pales in comparison. Our team feels that Takashimaya’s branding is sorely lacking, their main brand colour red is not brought out strongly or consistently through their store or their graphics. Although they attract family based and high-income consumers through their broad base of brands and a good selection of high-end brands such as Hermes and Bvlgari, it is not wise for them to rest on their laurels with stiff competition in the modern era.

By comparison, Tangs has done an excellent job in revamping their image. Originally called CK Tangs, they changed it to Tangs, together with a modern and fresh logo in bright orange complemented dark brown and grey, giving it an interesting depth. Their fresh brand image is very well managed and consistent throughout the various levels in store. It is also well conveyed through their publicity online. Tangs at Orchard attracts a lot of traffic daily, with a high percentage of highincome earners and tourists. Their promotion stalls outdoors coupled with their highly attractive window displays serve as an excellent way of enticing passersby into walk-in customers. Robinsons is somewhere in between Takashimaya and Tangs in terms of branding. They are making headway into modernizing the brands but they have not been consistent in their store displays through their materials, props, graphics and signage. It is as though they have revamped some parts but left them mixed with the old ones. Robinsons at Raffles City serves a high volume of office executives around the Central Business Districts as well as students and tourists. No doubt, Robinsons provides fuss free store display but in terms of attraction of brand, they are still lacking.

A) Store Design


All three department stores have similar flooring in terms of parquet and marbled floorings. Parquet floorings are usually long lasting and require little or no maintenance and has a pleasant aesthetic, hence it serve as good

choice of material. Products found in parquet flooring area have a more warm and homely experience, compared to tiles. Similarly, all three stores also use marble as one of the chosen flooring. As the favorite medium for Greek and Roman sculptors and architects, marble has become a cultural symbol of tradition and refined taste. Products found on the marble floor have a sense of luxury, lavish and extravagant feel. Takashimaya and Tangs have tiles as one of their choices for flooring while Robinsons has concrete flooring for the men’s department. Tiles are good for demarcating areas for different consignees, especially since tiles can be in different colours.

In terms of differences, the tiles in Takashimaya are mosaic tiles, which add an artistic touch and create depth to the look and feel of the area. The concrete flooring in Robinsons creates a modern finish, which is in line with the modern men’s wardrobe concept, which is a success in appealing to their target audience of the modern men. Tangs however has additional flooring, which is carpet for the shoes section. Although carpet has a warm and homely feel, it is hard to maintain, as it requires consistent vacuuming and less stain resistant. Nonetheless, Tangs made a calculated and deliberate choice of the carpet in striped, dark brown colours to enhance the image of the store.


The three stores have two main concepts for their walls. Firstly it is clean and simple, so that the focus are on the apparels and products, as they are seen clearly against the off white walls. Secondly, some of the walls are painted in bright and vibrant colours like orange, red or stuck with vinyl stickers with a certain theme, like the jungle theme in Takashimaya. This serves as an attraction to the customers, particularly to less visited corners of the store. It also serves as a brand reinforcement colour, as seen in the orange pillars in Tangs.

Wall Fixtures

The different wall fixtures help organize and display products that will appeal to consumers. Placement is key for merchandizing especially in a departmental store where everything is cluttered together. Permanent fixtures help keep departmental stores have a basic look

Permanent fixtures are cheaper at the start and departmental stores can decide the look that they are going for once and for all. However, although the multi purpose system fixtures is more expensive at start, it is cheaper in the long run as it is adjustable and departmental stores can continuously appeal to the customers with its different variations of they way they adjust their merchandize.

Floor Fixtures

Takashimaya has floor fixtures that creates a walk in wardrobe vibe while Tangs and Robinsons use furnitures as floor fixtures that creates a homely experience.

B) Unique Features


When the store is open, we step inside and see what is to be seen. Light serves to lead the shopper into and through the store. It directs the shopper’s attention from one featured classification with stops along the way to appreciate the highlighted focal points and display. The light level and color of the light in the store create the ambience.

Escalator Lights

The escalator of Takashimaya is really simply designed with a made to fit picture of plants pasted on the pillar in the middle, dividing one escalator from the other. The lightings are placed at the bottom of each escalator, and the lighting level is warm and welcoming as it is not very strong.

On the other hand, Robinsons’s escalator is built in a way that one escalator is right next to the other while both are heading the opposite directions. The lightings are placed above the escalator in a straight row, creating a cool and aloof atmosphere, as the lighting level is higher than compared to Takashimaya. However, Tang’s escalator is similar to Takashimaya’s, but with the absence of a pillar in the middle. The lightings at the escalator also differ from Takashimaya and Robinsons. The lightings instead of being placed at the bottom of each escalator like the others, the creatively designed long pillarlike installation that acts as a light source creating an interesting and fun ambience. Whilst as the consumers hop on the escalator, they are able to admire the creation of the glowing pillar-like installation and enhance their shopping experience. The unique features of the three departmental stores – Takashimaya, Tangs and Robinsons plays an important role as it creates the remarkable shopping experience that shoppers are able to bring home with them.


Another unique feature that is used are the mannequins. White colored representational mannequins are used in Takashimaya, Tangs and Robinsons. They also share the same similarities, as few headless mannequins are present. Since there is no head, makeup, or wig, this type of form is considerably cheaper than a realistic mannequin.

C) Props & Materials

After observing the 3 stores, it shows that the 3 stores are similar in the allocation of the departments. The beauty halls are located at level 1 which is the main entrance of the building. The women’s wear are usually at the level 2, followed by men’s wear at the level 3. All of the stores are decorated with light and colours, creating the illusion of a wider space. The differences between Takashimaya, Tangs and Robinsons are in the choice of the style. Takashimaya’s design is in a way that it is spacious, signboards are easy to read with a mix of bright and soft colours for the wall installation. Tangs pays a lot attention on the details like visual display and windows display. Many concepts stores also choose to set up their store in Tangs. Robinsons is smaller than Takashimaya and Tangs, so all the brands occupy a small space and cannot show much of their display in Robinson. The garments are usually hung on the rack. D) Graphics & Signage

Takashimaya, Tangs and Robinsons communicated the floor plans of each level very well. Their floor plans are very detailed and direct. It shows the different departments of each level so that shoppers could navigate their way through the departmental store easily. Robinsons and Tangs advertises in a striking red coloured font and background with detailed information of their current promotions. Promotional advertisement for Robinsons wins for our team as their advertisement was successfully conveyed to the public - definitely very attention seeking and hard for onlookers to miss out! The similarity between Tangs and Robinsons is such that they chose striking colours; shoppers are able to focus their visual on the signage as it stands out more. The cashier signage for Tangs and Taka is easily spotted probably due to the colour contrast and size. Whereas for Robinsons, the signboard is really small and the colour is dull thus not easily spotted.

E) Merchandising Mix All the 3 stores have similarity in allocated their fashion departments. For example:

Takashimaya Level 1 – beauty hall and accessories Level 2 – Bags, home décor and Luxury brands Level 3 – Affordable women’s wear, men’s wear & kid’s fashion Level 4 – Sports department Tangs Level 1 – Beauty hall and bags Level 2 – Affordable men & women wear, concept store Level 3 – Sports and accessories Robinsons Level 1 – Beauty hall, bags and accessories Level 2 – Affordable women’s wear Level 3 – Man’s wear, children wear and Home decor

Conclusion | F) Deepest Impression | Winner

In conclusion, our team unanimously agrees that Tangs is the outstanding winner in this contest between the three department stores. In terms of branding, store display, graphics and signage, they have proven to be the best one in those aspects. Takashimaya and Robinsons can a take a leaf from Tang’s by being strict in managing their store’s brand and look. No doubt, the three stores sell similar products and it is the store’s brand, treatment of the products that creates an elevated value of the product that consumers desire to shop at.

Comparing and Contrasting 3 Departmental Stores: Takashimaya, Tangs & Robinsons in Singapore. 2012.  

Studio Group Project Report. Studio Practice for Visual Merchandising Class. Members names listed on the cover. Student work for Year 2 BA...

Comparing and Contrasting 3 Departmental Stores: Takashimaya, Tangs & Robinsons in Singapore. 2012.  

Studio Group Project Report. Studio Practice for Visual Merchandising Class. Members names listed on the cover. Student work for Year 2 BA...