changi jewel food
06
Jun

Jewel Changi – Retail’s Shiny Game-Changer?

It has been more than a month since Jewel Changi Airport opened to much fanfare. Jewel bills itself as a delicious destination with 112 dining outlets taking up to 40% of its tenancy among other retail offerings, attractions, a hotel and airport facilities under one roof. Changi presents a flaming mix of new flagships to let your inner shopaholic on the loose, but the F&B program is what really puts the jewel in the crown. The range of local and international F&B concessions weren’t playing around when they brought these new venues to life, test-driving new food concepts and challenging conventional design methods to truly add dimension to the completed dining venues.


FAST FACTS

  • $1.7 billion joint venture between airport operator Changi Airport Group and CapitaLand
  • Located next to Terminal 1, Changi Airport
  • Officially opened on 17 April, 2019
  • At 90,000 sq m, Jewel’s retail size is comparable to CapitaLand’s Ion Orchard
  • 280 shops with 112 food-and-beverage outlets
  • 21,100 sq m of indoor gardens and attractions including the world’s tallest indoor waterfall, the 40m-high HSBC Rain Vortex
jewel food

WHY THE FOCUS ON F&B?

Oh well, eating is the national pastime in Singapore after all and Changi Airport Group estimates 60% of the visitors will be locals. Real estate services firm, JLL, covered more than 30% of Singaporean malls with F&B tenancies, comparing to 23% of overall F&B space in their competitor shopping destination, Hong Kong, and 10-15% in Europe. Singapore has the highest retail space per capita in all of Asia and has seen vacancy rates and rents reach their weakest points in the past 6 years, placing its malls among the worst-performing of the region’s larger economies. To make up for lost revenue, Singapore mall decided to increase the space for food and beverage (F&B) tenants.

adam summerville

“The beauty about F&B tenancies in an airport location is that they have a captive audience so much so that they are becoming the ‘destinations’ at airports.This is even more pronounced in Asia which has always had a strong dining out culture and so it is not surprising that millennials in the region are foodies, with many sharing their dining experiences on social media and posting reviews online,” says Adam Summerville, Lead Partner at Ground Control, a specialised consultancy for the travel retail, hospitality and leisure sectors.


SHAKE SHACK (#02-256)

shake shack

Expectedly, burger-hungry Singaporeans showed their love with queues reportedly starting from an ungodly 4.30am on its opening day. Its first store in Singapore, this outlet also boasts Singapore-exclusive items in their bid to pay homage to local flavours, such as the Pandan Shake and Jewela Melaka Concrete.  Shake Shack’s location within Jewel Changi Airport is prime retail real estate— it’s right at the mall’s entrance and you can’t miss it as you walk through the doors.

The roomy dining room on the first floor sits 90 with another 90 on the second floor. A video wall with cool Singapore-centric graphics make a visually stunning display. If you are lucky enough to grab a table deep inside the first level dining room, you’ll enjoy a partial view of the HSBC rain vortex.

shake shack jewel

As you head upstairs, you’ll be greeted with a calmer ambience away from the crazy crowds below with a bird’s eye view. Check out the amazing mural and groovy lamps. The cozy booth seats here also give off an American diner vibe.

shake shack changi

STARBUCKS RESERVE (#02-204)

starbucks jewel

The Starbucks flagship store is a 2-storey wonder, with a wood-heavy design and decorated with indoor plants. It also includes an interactive Reserve Coffee Bar where you can have a chat over coffee with their friendly baristas. Many people have compared Jewel Airport to the world of Avatar

painting starbucks jewel

Sean Dunston (Singapore-based artist) spent 2 months creating the Starbucks Siren onto the wall leading up to the second storey. He managed to add few subtle references to Singapore culture — Peranakan patterns and Vanda Miss Joaquim orchid.

starbucks singapore

The feature wall on the spacious upper level is made up of Starbucks Reserve labels. This level also has an Art Room, which can be booked for different workshops, but during all other days everyone can enjoy his/her cup of coffee here.

starbucks changi jewel

TIGER STREET LAB (#05-205)

It’s homegrown brand Tiger Beer’s first global concept store. Visitors will be able to experience seasonal Tiger brews and local food collaborations.

tiger street lab jewel

PAZZION CAFE (#B1-243)

pazzion jewel

Contemporary footwear brand, PAZZION, extended its retail business by launching a lifestyle destination to create a holistic customer experience. Pazzion outlet space is decked out in monochromatic tones, giving the café a modern-chic elegant look with a hint of retro nostalgia. The feature wall serves as backdrop to display a selection of old-school props, including a typewriter, telephone and metal globe. The seating options are extended to the outdoor area, offering a beautiful view of Jewel Changi’s iconic Rain Vortex.


MUJI CAFE & MEAL (#02-227/228/229)

muji jewel

One of the chain’s latest stores reside in Jewel Changi Airport, boasting two storeys and a cafe within its premises. The lower level is a collection of apparels, health and beauty products, food, travel goods, while the upper level houses the 88-seater Cafe & Meal MUJI and housekeeping, living room, bedroom and kitchen products, all in a gorgeous wood setting.

What’s interesting, is Muji’s interior advisor service, which comes completely free. The helpful sales assistant confirms that customers do not have to buy anything before using the service. Homeowners simply have to email muji_ia@muji.com to fix a consultation, following which they will be presented with an ideal layout. The assistant adds that most customers purchase items from Muji after using the service.


Among Changi’s top 10 markets in 2018, India and Japan registered the strongest growth rising 12% and 10%. Just after they are followed by China and Vietnam with annual growth up to 7%. To cater to its key markets, Jewel Changi Airport has a strong Asian F&B offerings ranging from dim sum specialists Din Tai Fung and Tim Ho Wan to local Michelin-starred roast specialist, Kam’s Roast. One of the restaurants worth highlighting is Shang Social, a modern restaurant and retail space, proposing Chinese kitchen in a chic environment.

SHANG SOCIAL (#01-219 to 222)

shang social

The concept comes from Shangria-La Hotel Group. 100 chefs from China serve Huaiyang, Cantonese and Sichuan food. There are two areas : casual ne with dim-sums and noodles and high-standard one. The last one proposes Chinese tapas and incredible cocktails.


In a rush to buy some souvenirs for your overseas friends before flying off? Jewel Changi Airport also houses many local favourites like Bengawan SoloOld Chang KeeBee Cheng Hiang and Rich & Good Cake Shop which all sport a contemporary store design in their new homes. 

BENGAWAN SOLO (#01-228/229)

bengawan solo changi

Bengawan Solo Cake Shop – a new confectionery chain – innovated its Jewel outlet and decided to serve its selection of kueh that is found in outlets island-wide. A new shop design with garden-themed interiors has a demonstration counter where kueh lapis are rolled out in a second.

RICH & GOOD CAKE SHOP (#01-232)

richgood changi

The swiss roll shop, Rich & Good Cake Shop, carved its legacy in Singaporeans’ hearts after many years of operating from its debut Kandahar Street shophouse location. Keeping up with the changing times, the city’s favourite cake house underwent somewhat of a makeover, now boasting with a sleek gold-rimmed baby pink cake counter and LED screens displaying flatlays of its beloved cakes and the baking process it owes its success to. The shop offers a range of 10 flavours, including red velvet, durian, kaya and green tea. The famous swiss rolls are going from $9 each, and mini versions of all the cakes on sale are available from $5 each.


From popular dining establishments and local fast food favourites to millennial-friendly hippie spots, it remains to be seen if Jewel Changi Airport’s F&B strategy will reach its ambitious goal of 40-50 million visitors annually. Early numbers look promising with a record 500,000 visitors during a 6 day preview prior to its opening.The key takeaway from this gastronomic journey is that social media is taking on a bigger role and influencing food options offered, a successful F&B business isn’t just about how good the food tastes because restaurant design, marketing, atmosphere and service are equally important. If anything, this trip to Jewel is definitely worth it with lots to take in (literally) and brick-and-mortar retail is well and truly alive in Singapore.