Taobao’s first physical store in Southeast Asia opens in Singapore’s Funan mall

Chinese e-commerce platform Taobao has opened its new store at Singapore’s Funan mall, a first in Southeast Asia, as demand rises for its home furniture goods.

Named Taobao Store by Virmall, the shop is a partnership between Taobao and Virmall, a local firm that helps to curate and introduce products from merchants on Taobao.

The shop, which opened 4 Sept, showcases more than 300 products from furniture to kitchen appliances and clothing. About 80 per cent of the items are from the home and living category, the fastest-growing category of purchases from Singapore on Taobao.

At a vast 6,000 sq ft, the store on Basement Two of Funan mall is approximately 10 times larger than Taobao’s previous six-month pop-up at multi-label concept store NomadX in Plaza Singapura.

The opening of the Taobao store levels up competition as the e-commerce marketplace heats up, with home-grown shopping platform Shopee opening its new regional headquarters in Kent Ridge on Tuesday.

Taobao, which is under tech giant Alibaba, declined to reveal the revenue generated in Singapore in past years.

Its Funan store offers a complimentary virtual reality (VR) service for shoppers to better visualise how a piece of furniture will fit into their homes.