updated 8 May 2013, 01:56
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Tue, Apr 16, 2013
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Secret Shopper: Francfranc

I love shopping but I hate shopping malls.

I hate competing for space with so many other people and I tend to just walk past and go straight to the food establishments unless a store has huge sale signs or something special going on out front.

Like these gigantic Queen Anne-style arm chairs (so huge I looked doll-sized next to them) near the front of Francfranc, a Japanese home and lifestyle store at VivoCity. They were certainly special enough to lure me in.

Signature style

From the entrance, Francfranc looks like fun.

I felt like a kid at a theme park. There were so many things to see, I didn't know where to start!

Suddenly, I was a lot more interested in things I don't usually care much about - like potpourri stored in beautiful wooden cases and shower curtains.

I'm not the most organised person, but Francfranc's bright-coloured magazine holders and desk trays made me rethink my messy ways.

What I really liked were the little miscellaneous items that would make my bedroom tidier.

Take the door hooks, for example - a cloth strap adorned with hooks to be placed over the length of your door.

A great way to relieve my doorknob from the bags and clothes it usually has to carry and making it much easier to spot and grab my bag of the day.

Price point

They may be pretty but there is a quite a price to pay for these organising items. The plastic desk trays and magazine holders cost about $23 each.

Stationery also costs more than usual - a thin palm-sized notebook cost about $6.

Sure, it had a cute print but not cute enough to warrant a $6 price tag.

That said, many other items were more reasonably priced.

Sturdy laptop cases that came in a nice silver colour cost about $18.

The clocks - with bright, abstract prints - were suitably priced at $65.

There were also door knobs of different shapes and colours - priced from $6 to $13 - all of which would add extra character to any room.

Store layout

The giant armchairs fascinated me.

The entrance was framed with three of these chairs, and next to them were, tiered circular platforms stocked with home and bath accessories.

I also loved how the 20,000 sq ft store was clearly separated into different sections like housekeeping (which strangely included a body fat analyser), stationery, furniture and kitchen.

That definitely made browsing the huge store a lot more convenient.


There are sales staff around, but frankly everything is so clearly laid out and labelled you won't really need them.

As a test I played dumb and asked for help and they were more than happy to point me in the right direction.


If you want to add a pop of colour to your room with some funky and arty artefacts - "casual stylish" according to the website - then frankly, Francfranc is the place for you.


WHAT: Francfranc,

WHERE: #02-41/42 VivoCity

WHEN: 11am to 10pm daily

HISTORY: Francfranc, which opened its first shop in Japan in 1992, now has more than 100 outlets, including ones in Shanghai, Seoul and Hong Kong. In Singapore, besides the flagship store at VivoCity, there is a smaller 9,300 sq ft store at JCube mall in Jurong East.

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