‘NewGen Retail’ is the first concept in the world to provide a multi-sensory grocery and dining experience which is rendered as effortless and fluid as possible thanks to technology.
A dream come true! Habitat by honestbee (60,000 m2) saw the light of day in October 2018 and provides a new approach to food retail combining a PoS for groceries and fresh food, a dining area, a variety of events and workshops, all of which integrate the latest logistics, purchase and payment technology. When a fresh produce specialist (Habitat) partners up with a delivery expert (honestbee), the result is a truly unique purchasing experience. And all this, made in Singapore, “to compete with Taobao” as one of the store managers explained to us.
InCapsule took a visit to the store earlier this year and the following is a summary of our first impressions…
Access exclusively via smartphone and a “Swiss army knife” application
Without a smartphone and without having downloaded the honestbee app, which requires sharing one’s personal details, it is impossible to enter this PoS. In fact, assistance is provided with the download process. This app is a real Swiss army knife which enables to become a member and thus benefit from exclusive offers, pay without passing through the traditional checkout process thanks to a digital wallet functionality, order one’s products, organize delivery if one so desires, or pick up the goods at the Collection Point. All these operations are carried out without the need for human intervention, as everything is handled by the interface and is automated. The staff’s role is thus purely to provide you advice, assistance, and a personalized service!
A PoS where fluidity and conviviality reign supreme and where queues and money seem to have disappeared altogether
Habitat by honestbee has done its utmost to make the store resemble Wonderland. This becomes apparent from the moment one steps through the entrance which is bathed in a fun or even childlike atmosphere, with games on offer for children and adults.
Fluidity is the key focus here so that the irritating aspects of purchase and payment become a thing of the past. Purchase processes are simplified to the extreme thanks to the app which lies at the very heart of the concept.
Several purchase scenarios are suggested and clearly explained in this PoS which can be read like a comic book. Habitat by honestbee takes you by the hand and gives you all the instructions required to get to grips with this new purchase approach.
The concept is extremely simple: if one purchases 10 items or less, one just scans the goods and leaves with them – it could not be easier and there is no need to queue as is the case with the Amazon Go model.
If one purchases more than 10 items, there are several possibilities depending on the availability of the products. If the latter are present at the PoS, one fills one’s trolley which is automatically scanned in a dedicated area at the back of the store, a far cry from the traditional checkout. Here again, there is no need to exit the store via the checkout, the products are packed for you in an invisible warehouse. The items are then made available for pick up at the Collection Point located at the exit of the store, which in the meantime gives shoppers the opportunity to head for the dining and relaxation areas, or participate in a range of workshops.
If the products are not available in the aisles, it is possible to order them via the application and then pick them up on the way out of the store from the same Collection Point.
Shopping is no longer a fastidious process but quite the contrary a fun moment dedicated to discovery, during which the senses are awakened, and consumers are spared the usual burdens involved so as to fully make the most of the experience. Is the average trolley worth more? Impossible to say. But the most surprising aspect is that consumers come to the store as a family for a leisure experience in its own right and indulge in consumption and a pleasurable moment.
Ultimately, this is a place to hang out rather than simply purchase
Habitat organizes festivals (such as the Festival of Fresh), masterclasses with chefs, but also concerts, style workshops, coffee tasting, as well as a range of activities for the entire family like face painting and balloon sculpting.
Here are a few photos so you may immerse yourself in this temple of fluidity which is like stepping into a new era…