Casting a fresh SPELL at Changi Airport
Singapore Polytechnic students relaunch three-year-old retail living laboratory with additional features to enhance shoppers’ experience
13 December 2014 – Singapore Polytechnic (SP) will further enhance its teaching facilities today with the relaunch of the Singapore Polytechnic Entrepreneurship Living Laboratory (SPELL) at Changi Airport Terminal 3. First launched in 2011, SPELL was the first, and is still the only off-campus retail store fully run and managed by SP students, in line with SP’s emphasis on authentic learning.
As part of the store’s overhaul, SP students from the Diploma in Business Administration and Diploma in Business Information Technology conducted surveys with customers and shoppers, to get a real sense of their shopping needs and preferences. Based on the survey, which was conducted using the Design Thinking pedagogy that places emphasis on user experience; the students applied relevant knowledge and skills from their courses and conceptualised new business models and strategies that allows SPELL to stand out from other retailers.
A key survey result indicated that shoppers were unaware that SPELL was fully run and managed by students. Once customers realised this, they were impressed and keen to interact with students on their learning experience. A message wall, digital signage and stories on students’ learning journeys were thus added to the new store to provide additional interaction points. Customer feedback also resulted in new features such as neutral store colours, additional mirrors and changing room at SPELL.
SPELL will also tap on technological advances to improve productivity and efficiency. It is now equipped with advanced cloud computing software that aids the scheduling of student learning sessions, thus ensuring the store is adequately staffed for 13 hours daily, all year round. Previously, the manpower scheduling was handled manually.
The new store will also tap on Skype and live cameras to allow real-time remote teaching and student assessment by lecturers from the Dover campus when students are off campus. These technological additions are aligned with Singapore’s initiative to be a ‘Smart Nation’ as well as to enhance the students’ learning experience.
The relaunch will see SPELL carry new and exclusive product offerings such as the SPLASH perfume that was specially created by SP’s Diploma in Perfumery and Cosmetic Science students. Accessories, clothes and bags sourced from countries such as South Korea and China are also available exclusively at the retail store. These will be displayed prominently through slate walls and movable furniture within the store, which is also an idea borne out of the survey.
With the changes, SPELL is now able to extend its learning opportunities to more students from other diploma courses and secondary schools. For example, SP’s Diploma in Engineering with Business students will now also have the opportunity to intern at SPELL and learn how to manage and run a business. They will get to test out their business ideas, integrate it with marketing plans and go on overseas product sourcing trips. Students who interned at SPELL have been to Thailand, China and South Korea for product sourcing trips.
As part of SPELL’s mission to deliver enhanced entrepreneurship to secondary schools, about 240 secondary school students from Fairfield Methodist and Outram Secondary have already experienced authentic learning at SPELL over the past three years. Another 240 students will undergo a similar learning experience over the next three years.
Ms Georgina Phua, Director of SP Business School, said, “The new SPELL allows students from various SP diplomas as well as secondary school students to put their entrepreneurial thinking into practice. By embracing authentic out-of-classroom learning, students will develop a keener sense of business and hopefully be motivated to become entrepreneurs in future.”
Mr Ng Wei En, who graduated from the Diploma in Business Administration in 2014 said, “The practical skills and knowledge I picked up at SPELL was useful in helping me set up my current business. The collaboration and gained experience in areas such as sourcing, risk taking and building relationships with stakeholders will be useful for students who aspire to become entrepreneurs.”
As part of its relaunch, shoppers can look forward to fantastic discounts of up to 70% for selected items. Specially selected grab bags containing up to eight items are priced at $60 while a 12-item grab bag is priced at $100. All items are available while stocks last.
Address: Changi Airport Terminal 3, Basement 2, #52-53
Opening hours: 10 am – 11pm daily
Tel: (65) 6214 3858
Singapore Polytechnic’s Diploma in Business Administration students, (from left to right) Chua Jia Qi, Rachel Chia Sin Yen and Jiang Wen Weng are part of the team that manages and run SPELL at Changi Airport Terminal 3, Basement 2. Besides running SPELL, they are also entrepreneurs and have started their own business.
The new SPELL features neutral lighting, a new range of merchandise and also technological features that aims to enhance the shopping experience for customers.
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About Singapore Polytechnic (www.sp.edu.sg)
Established in 1954, Singapore Polytechnic (SP) is Singapore’s first polytechnic. It has 10 schools that offer 49 full-time diploma courses for close to 16,000 students. SP adopts a proven creative teaching and learning framework and offers students a holistic, authentic and industry-relevant curriculum, innovative and vibrant learning spaces, and enriching overseas programmes.
The Polytechnic is committed to producing competent and versatile graduates who are also imbued with sound values, so that they can be work ready, life ready and world-ready. SP has more than 178,000 graduates and among them are successful entrepreneurs, top executives in multi-national and public-listed corporations, and well-known professionals across various industries and leaders in government.
SP is the first polytechnic to be awarded the President’s Award for the Environment in 2010 and the President's Social Service Award in 2011.
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