Dim lighting and a crowded display space lend this independent retail shop a cosy feel. Cat Socrates carries a variety of knick-knacks such as terrariums (and planters for making your own), tote bags, clothes, homeware, fabric, books by homegrown writers, postcards, Singapore-themed products like local music albums, and, of course, a section of cat-related merchandise. Bonus points if you manage to lure resident cat Chestnut out from his favourite spot under a red table. Cat Socrates’ second branch, in Katong, also has a store kitty: Zoo-Zoo.
Not your average museum store, Gallery and Co brings together retail and activity spaces with two eateries: a cafeteria and the Gallery Cafe. Curated by Loh Lik Peng, Foreign Policy Design Group and Alwyn Chong of Luxasia – collectively known as ‘& Co’ – the retail section stocks products from local and international brands, including General Object, Supermama and Smile Q&Q, whose solar-powered watches can be found in a huge vending machine. And since it’s housed in a temple to art after all, it also carries merchandise, like tees and bar soaps (seriously), inspired by the artworks in the National Gallery.
Here’s a three-fer for ya. K+, set up by creative agency Kinetic, comprises a trio of spaces: a retail outlet, art gallery and floral store. The retail arm, dubbed the K+ Workshop, stocks quirky artworks and home decor pieces by local artists and brands – Cheok Keng Lye, Supermama and BooksActually among them – as well as international names like Donna Wilson and Mondo, the Japanese wunderkind. K+ Floral Obsession is pretty much what it says on the tin: it’s home to stunning bouquets of every shape and colour.
Spread over 35,000 square feet, Decathlon’s largest store in the region offers over 95,000 affordable products for more than 50 different sports from 20 in-house brands, and features indoor testing zones, an outdoor playground and a basketball court. You get to try out gear for sports like table tennis, mini golf and cycling (or get your two-wheeler fixed at the bicycle repair workshop). Even our self-professed, non-athletic, inertia-driven selves are psyched.
Located at the School of the Arts, this eclectic shop is brimming with all things whimsical. It’s a total dreamer’s paradise ('dröm' is Swedish for ‘dream’), stacked high with fun postcards, limited edition photo books, vintage Polaroid cameras, intricately designed retro notebooks and a whole lotta nostalgia-inducing knick-knacks like brooches by Hug a Porcupine. There’s also an adjoining cafe beside the shop called Kki, where you can savour gorgeous Japanese desserts that taste as good as they look.
Minimally decked out and flooded with natural light, Coast Cycles is located above the Coast and Company café, accessible via a flight of stairs with a message that reads, ‘Everybody needs some time to coast’ (true dat). This space doubles as a workshop area – you can bring your wheels in for a tune-up – as well as a shop for Coast Cycles' own models. These include the sleek Coastliner, the off-road-friendly Atom, and the new Quinn cargo bicycle, which is designed with a space to accommodate bags or other personal items to ensure a hassle-free ride.