Nana: Fashion has infinite possibilities, and new power is born from it. As a carrier of culture and times, fashion encompasses everything. From trendy to traditional culture, from celebrities, idols to everyone’s daily life, and from West to East, it is our discourse, our power, our time. Through Asian Voice, we hope to spread the local Asian fashion culture to the world by moving cross languages and borders.Welcome to the amazing world of The Corner Shop/The Lucky Shop, the premier shopping destination in Singapore. The stores offer a unique experience for shoppers who are looking for the latest and greatest in fashion, beauty, and lifestyle products. The Lucky Shop provides a unique range of streetwear collections at an affordable price which can fit all of your streetwear needs. With an ever–evolving selection of products, The Corner Shop/The Lucky Shop offer the best in style and quality for its customers. This time we invite the co-counder of the shops, Mr. Jebson to talk about the development of the store so far, future plans, and some staff management experiences. Come and explore the diverse range of products and services that The Corner Shop/The Lucky Shop have to offer and discover why it is the go–to destination for fashion and lifestyle products in Singapore.
Nana: Could you please give us an introduction about yourself?Jebson: My name is Jebson, the founder of Corner Shop, as well as the co-founder of Lucky shop. I also own Lucky distribution, which is formerly known as Darts distribution. I’m also in charge of production and merchandising. I’m also linking brands to collaborate.
Nana: We would also like ask you about your education background and work experiences before you started your busines here in Lucky Disribution.Jebson: I was a diplomat drop out, and then I had some experiences working part time and doing my study so I couldn’t juggle up until a company they hired me as salespeople. That was my first experience in fashion field.
Nana: Why did you decide to change the store’s name?Jebson: Since there’s a new partnership and I think Lucky distribution is better than Darts distribution! Because our concept always been oriental centric. That’s why our store’s name is 杂货店(Grocery store), which is The Corner Shop.
Nana: What are the different messages or concepts between The Corner Shop and The Lucky Shop?Jebson: They are actually both oriental centric. So it means suggests loosely resemblance convenient store committed market repeat changing. And I love 80s culture, so you can see a lot of pop culture from 80s in the store. And also we leverage on the nostalgia to make lasting memories for our customers. The Lucky shop, on the other hand, conceived as a spawn of the corner shop, which is a younger version of it. So it mainly sells skate brand, streetwear and so on.
Nana: Interesting, so the shop also has the private brand! Who is going to decide the brands to join?Jebson: We have a team actually and will have meeting everyweek, which consists of every ages form Gen Z to middle age. Gen Z, they always got very fresh ideas. They know what young generations want. Also, the work now revolve around influencers, so we have to know more information from them, so they actually are the ones who bring fresh ideas to the team.
Nana: Why you decided to create the Corner shop and Lucky shop, which you were supposed to do the distribution basis?Jebson: I joined Darts distribution company about two years ago, and Seth is the one running it for probably about eight years. So I’m not very sure about how they run the company initially. From my work experiences here now, because the retail stores help us to choose from the distribution for collaborative work. It has the direct influence on the brand we want to collaborate with. For example, Paradise and Dover Street Market so far. It’s a win-win situation for doing both the distribution and retail stores.
Nana: You were basically handling some brands to distribute to Dover Street Market and do some supporting for collaborations. Is it possible for you to share some memorable collabortions you hvae done before?Jebson: We had collaborated with a nightclub in Singapore called 1980. It looks like a club in 80s. We were doing an event together. And also Megahit, which is also a DJ collective. We got a DJ to remix the songs. The site A is all the English 80s remix. And site B, which is interesting, used Cantonese and Mandarin disco.
Nana: How do you see the fashion in Singapore?Jebson: Recently, there was an article about Singapore fashion trend which is why do Singapore men dress so poorly. It got viral on social media. They wanted me to comment on it. I think it’s hard to dress very expressively because of the weather, like you cannot layer the cloths, it’s just so hard. But also, I assume we had this mentality is the same as everybody is safe. We were wearing school uniform from young, and every single man has to go to a national service which is army as well, which means we always wear uniform to 18 years old. People always dress the same thing because it’s safe.
Nana: It’s surprising because Singapore had good economy compared to the other regions in eastern Asia.Jebson: For example, Balenciaga, you know which item is the best selling? A simple T-shirt which prints only “Balenciaga” on it. The brands like that they do not do any advertisement on those T-shirts because they’re considered cheap item but they’re producing it every season. And which is a best seller in Singapore, Uniqlo. Everybody buys 10 colors for one piece.
Nana: You’ve got many special insights for Singapore’s fashion.Jebson: I’ve been around and I’ve seen it. This is what’s happening. Streetwear is the same, everybody just buy the same product. But we are dressing better now, like the young generation have the knowledge for where to get the cloth.
Nana: Could you please share us some future plans for The Corner Shop and The Lucky Shop?Jebson: For the Lucky shop, it will be online only, and for the Corner shop, we would like to expand overseas and maybe have one store in Southeast Asia.
Nana: Is it online or an actual store there?Jebson: It’s going to be a store. I don’t know shop online since I prefer to go to a store. And then that comes to a service. So over the last 10 years in Singapore, our service has gone from good to bad. Now it’s the worst time. I particularly tell my staff that we have to give the good service. Our store is like a destination store. Our customers don’t expect something like Uniqlo or Zara. We are kind of have to be a stylist, a fashion stylist. There will be no service, no existent. That’s why the last 15 years, we get a lot of customers from a student to a laday and now become a mom who are still coming back to us.
Nana: Is it possible for you to share us some challenges that you’ve had when running the stores?Jebson: It would be the ability to predict the next trend early. That’s when Gen Z comes. Another challenge would be finding the correct people to fulfill our vision for the stores.
Nana: Is there any advice about managing staff?Jebson: Keep them involved. It’s more like a family brand, but we are not but that’s how we keep them involved. So, my policy is to make me as useless as possible.
My policy is to make me as useless as possible.