Commune introduces virtual reality concept and targets expansion in the region

From left: Joshua Koh (Chief Financial Officer), Julian Koh (Head of Design), Gan Shee Wen (Vice President, Group Sales and Marketing).

To enhance customer experience and drive sales, furniture design and lifestyle brand Commune, a subsidiary of SGX-listed KODA Ltd, has unveiled a new retail concept incorporating virtual reality (VR).

According to Cnet, VR is a computer-generated environment that allows people to experience a different reality. By incorporating VR, Commune customers will be able to make better purchasing decisions with a virtual check of how their choice of furniture pieces will fit in their homes – right at the store.

“Using VR, customers can recreate different perspectives of their homes with new furniture and furnishings to help them decide on their purchases much more conveniently and efficiently,” said Mr Joshua Koh, chief financial officer at Commune.  

The introduction of VR is among the new strategic initiatives Commune will launch to reinvent furniture retailing as the company marks its fifth anniversary in the business.

Customer trying out the VR software.

Mr Koh said, “As we turn five, it is timely for us to refresh and offer novel choices to our customers and penetrate new markets. We have to come up with new looks, new labels and new concepts, while harnessing the latest technology to make a real difference for the customer while driving growth for the company.”

In addition to its innovative furniture concept, Commune plans to expand its overseas footprint too with a target opening of 100 new franchise stores over the next two years, 70% of which will be in China.

“With rising affluence among working adults in China comes higher social status and living standards. An increasing number of Chinese consumers are pursuing their distinct lifestyles and identities through home living and designs. This has given rise to strong market demand for new retail concepts catering to different tastes and preferences. Hence, it is a strategic move for us to concentrate our expansion plans in China,“ Mr Koh said.

Since its incorporation in 2011, Commune has seen a 35% annual growth rate over the last five years. Currently, the furniture retailer has 35 stores in China, three in Malaysia and one in Australia along with four self-owned retail stores in Singapore.