RETAIL | Staff Reporter, Singapore

CapitaLand to attach robotic product collector arms to Funan mall

It unveiled its plans that also involve a 24-hour click-and-collect shopping drive-thru.

CapitaLand Mall Trust's Funan mall unveiled its plan to digitise customer analytics within its premises, deploy automated guided vehicles (AGV), attach a robotic arm in its retail setting, and implement a 24-hour click-and-collect drive-thru.

"As omnichannel retailing becomes the new reality, Funan is racing ahead to become Singapore’s first online-and-offline (O&O) shopping mall integrating online, offline, data and logistics aimed at empowering retailers’ omnichannel strategy and transforming the customer experience," it said in an announcement.

The plan involves integrating app-based booking of all the mall's facilities in the CapitaStar members' app, which includes a smart carpark feature and the recently launched e-payment platform StarPay.

CapitaLand also aims to have AGVs pick up shoppers’ purchases from the store to deposit the bags at one of the 100 click-and-collect boxes at its basement through its automated concierge service.

"Shoppers can self-collect their purchases with a QR code sent to their phone at their own convenience, or utilise the 24-hour drive-thru collection service, which is fitted with a state-of-the-art robotic arm that can retrieve their merchandise – a huge convenience for those who can only pick up their purchases after Funan’s operating hours," it added. 

CapitaLand noted that Funan’s adoption of AGVs and robotic arm marks Singapore’s first such deployment in a retail setting. The AGVs are also equipped with a laser-based navigation system and do not require embedded lines or magnetic strips on the ground for navigation.

The company added that it also plans to collect transaction data from in-store smart terminals generated by CCTV cameras outside the stores, which capture footfall and demographic data throughout the mall and into each store. 

CapitaLand Mall Trust Management CEO Tony Tan commented, "As a native O&O mall with omnichannel retail infrastructure enabled by the latest technology, Funan is well-positioned to attract quality tenants who are able to adapt to and excel in this fast-changing retail landscape.”

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