Love, Bonito is opening a flagship store at 313@Somerset – and it’s a ‘calculated risk’

Love Bonito co-founders Rachel Lim (left) and Viola Tan.

Lianhe Zaobao

It’s finally happening. Love, Bonito will be opening its very own flagship store in October after operating mostly online for seven years.

The homegrown fashion label entered the e-commerce space at a time when Singaporeans were not yet familiar with buying things online.

The new boutique at 313@Somerset will take up 4,603 sq ft of space on the second floor, which was previously occupied by Forever 21.

Co-founder Rachel Lim, 30, was quoted by The Straits Times as saying that the decision to open a retail outlet was “calculated risk”. The company had experimented with pop-up stores before, including one at the same building, which is linked to the Somerset MRT station by an underpass.

“A physical store provides a platform for us to enhance our customers’ touch point, provides a space for our community to mingle and learn, enables us to interact with our customers face to face and increases our customers’ brand loyalty,” Ms Lim reportedly told the local daily.

Apart from being able to browse through items piece by piece, customers will also be able to attend workshops held by Love, Bonito at the new store.

The former blogshop was started in 2010 and gained a large following by selling fashionable and affordable imported womenswear. In 2011, the brand began producing its own designs.

Its founders Rachel Lim and Viola Tan, 33, are still very much involved with the business, while a third founder, Velda Tan, left the company four years ago.

“To us, the store is so much more than just stocking products. We believe that the retail landscape has completely changed today and consumers are looking for a different experience – one that goes well beyond a simple transaction,” The Straits Times quotes Ms Lim as saying.

The brand also has a physical presence in Malaysia, Indonesia and Cambodia, and expects revenue growth of at least 50 per cent this year, The Straits Times reported.