SINGAPORE (Dec. 12, 2008)–National Geographic and Barcelona-based Worldwide Retail Store SL have chosen Singapore as the site of the Society’s first flagship store in Asia. Opening on Sunday, Dec. 14, the store in Singapore’s Vivo City will be National Geographic’s second global experiential space, following the launch of its store in London last month.
One of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations, National Geographic has a rich 120-year heritage of inspiring people to care about the planet through its media offerings, education and research programs. The Asian store will bring together the Society’s exclusive products and services in a constantly evolving, highly immersive and culturally inspired setting.
The store will be geared toward amateur explorers, travel enthusiasts, adventure seekers and environmentalists — a rapidly growing segment of Singapore’s population, as shown by a recent study that indicated a nearly 10 percent increase in overseas travel among Singaporeans from 2006 to 2007.
The Singapore store opening builds on the success of National Geographic’s strong subscriber base for its media products, with National Geographic Channel available in more than 56 million homes in Asia Pacific and more than 100,000 readers of its magazines in Singapore.
Located at Vivo City, Singapore’s largest shopping mall in the vibrant HarbourFront precinct, the new National Geographic store is designed to appeal to Singaporeans’ taste for adventure and diverse cultures. More than a traditional retail environment, the 1,500-square- metre (16,146-square-foot) store will feature a retail marketplace, exhibition space and unique “experience zones” for multisensory activities designed to stimulate, educate and inspire visitors.
The exhibition hall will display a rotating showcase of curated exhibits, inspired by content from National Geographic’s international channels, magazines and mission-oriented projects. The marketplace will feature a wide selection of National Geographic media products featuring its award-winning content as well as newly created branded merchandise and sustainable, unique, hand-crafted items sourced from global artisans.
The store will feature items produced, sourced or selected by National Geographic. Key product lines include National Geographic’s Rugged Basic, International Traveler and Explorer Gear clothing lines and accessories; casual and expedition-style footwear; a full range of optics, from eyewear and binoculars to telescopes and cameras; journals, calendars and other stationery products; maps, atlases and guidebooks; watches; home furnishings and dėcor, with a special emphasis on reclaimed wood pieces; and a wide selection of children’s products.
In addition, National Geographic will regularly organise public lectures by some of its most renowned explorers, authors and photographers, as well as free film screenings at Vivo City’s outdoor amphitheatre, providing education and entertainment for young and old and for travelers and armchair explorers.
John Fahey, National Geographic’s president and CEO, said: “Our goal is to inspire people to care about the planet, and our strategy is to continually find new and exciting ways to reach and engage the public. We’re excited about these new retail environments and see them as a perfect complement to our media expansion efforts, which have been so successfully realized with our local-language magazines and our international channels. As a result of this exciting new partnership, National Geographic will be able to reach people in their communities on a more personal level and inspire them with fresh experiences.”
The partnership grants Worldwide Retail Store an exclusive retail license for National Geographic stores in more than 80 countries outside the United States and will include flagship retail environments, airport stores and boutique offerings. Additional store openings are planned worldwide in 2009.
Pere Matamales, CEO of Worldwide Retail Store SL, said: “We are proud to partner with National Geographic, a great global brand with an unrivalled heritage and reputation. The stores and their carefully chosen product lines will appeal to both National Geographic’s wide consumer base and a fast-growing group of environmentally aware shoppers. We are confident of the long-term growth potential of the Asian retail market. This marks our first retail investment in Singapore. We believe that Singapore, with its cosmopolitan, multicultural population and strong retail and tourism sectors, will be an excellent starting point to establish a strong retail presence and events hub for National Geographic in Asia.”
National Geographic reaches 325 million people around the world each month through its magazines, television programmes, films, music and radio, books, DVDs, maps, exhibitions; school publishing programmes, interactive media and merchandise. National Geographic’s net proceeds support the Society’s exploration, conservation, research and education programmes.
About National Geographic
The National Geographic Society is one of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations. Founded in 1888 to “increase and diffuse geographic knowledge,” the Society works to inspire people to care about the planet. National Geographic reflects the world through its National Geographic magazine, the Society’s official journal, published in English and 31 local-language editions, is read by more than 40 million people each month. The National Geographic Channel reaches over 270 million households in 34 languages in 166 countries. National Geographic Digital Media receives more than 12 million visitors a month. National Geographic has funded more than 9,000 scientific research, conservation and exploration projects and supports an education programme combating geography illiteracy. For more information, visit nationalgeographic.com.
About Worldwide Retail Store
Worldwide Retail Store SL is a holding company based in Barcelona, with a paid-up capital of 27 million EURO, owned by the executive management team and by Spanish investors Casagrande de Cartagena SL, Riofisa and Allegra Holding. In a demonstration of commitment to the partnership, National Geographic also has a 5 percent stock option in Worldwide Retail Store.
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