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Gadgets & Home Improvement

Ways of Space

Largest standalone retail furniture space in Singapore is first of its kind to offer store-within-a-store showrooms for the different brands it carries
The Straits Times - December 23, 2011
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Ways of Space Space Furniture spent $50 million on its showroom on Bencoolen Street. -- PHOTO: TERRENCE LIM

Space Furniture makes its debut on the Lifestyle Power List for upping the ante when it comes to furniture shopping in Singapore.

No shopping mall or factory warehouse environment for this Australian company, which carries top designer furniture brands such as B&B Italia, Cassina, Giorgetti and Poliform.

It spent $50 million turning three buildings along Bencoolen Street - a modern glass structure flanked by two conservation buildings - into an airy showroom complete with rooftop terraces where shoppers can rest their tired feet and look out onto the street.

At 40,000 sq ft, Space Asia Hub is believed to be the largest standalone retail furniture space in Singapore, and also the first of its kind to offer store-within-a-store showrooms for the different brands it carries.

Ms Katie Page, 54, Space Furniture's director, says: 'High-end furniture brands have their own standalone stores in other parts of the world.

'In Singapore, we need to give them space so that we could represent the brands in the best way. You can't have something this big in a mall.' She adds that shoppers today are more discerning, and want to know the designers and the history behind each piece, which is why it is necessary to have a big enough space to tell a complete brand story.

Space Furniture began operations in Singapore in 2001 with a showroom at Millenia Walk. Owned by Katie Page and her husband Gerry Harvey, 72, their first store opened in 1993 in Sydney.

The group has expanded to Melbourne, Brisbane, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.

The Singapore store is as big as its main store in Sydney.

Ms Page says: 'Space Asia Hub will double our existing business.' There are plans to represent more brands but 'we are selective'.

She declines to reveal how much Space Furniture makes annually, but says: 'We will get our returns on our investment very quickly. The store not only caters to the local market, but we have clients from around the region too.'



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