Making grocery shopping cool again

Homegrown online marketplace Honestbee has unveiled its latest brainchild: habitat by honestbee, its first brick-and-mortar lifestyle concept marrying groceries, dining, and new technology opening Oct 18. Housed entirely within an industrial building, the 60,000 sq ft space features many of Honestbee’s online merchants, now given new life amongst more traditional shoppers.

There, you can shop, have a cup of freshly brewed coffee, and eat right off the rack—all without bringing your wallet. The landmark space touts itself as the world’s first tech-enabled, multi-sensory grocery and dining concept, with a completely cashless payment system, automated checkout, and savvy robotic collection point. Everything happens on your phone, via the Honestbee app—the “Bee Pass” that you need to enter tailors recommendations to your shopping preferences; while a QR code checkout system “Scan & Go” lets you scan barcodes to pay for your item (for purchases of 10 items or less) so you don’t have to stand in line.

And the convenient tech doesn’t end there. Once you’ve filled up your trolley of groceries, as per any supermarket, simply push it into the AutoCheckout station, walk away, and pick up your bagged purchases at the RobotCollect Stations at the end—the world’s first fully automated robotic collection point, where each robot can hold up to 30 bags of groceries at one time. That means you’re free to hang around the space after, to read a book at the reading corner, or have a meal at one of the 15 F&B concepts.

As for what F&B there is to enjoy, the options are mind-boggling. Between choosing premium meats (dry-aged beef, grain-fed cuts, and even Tajima steak) and seafood to have cooked fresh on the spot, and dining from the standalone F&B concepts, you’ll be spoilt for choice. and ordering bentos, vegetarian and vegan options, or even dining at the, Moss, Standout retailers to try include Lazy Loaf for rustic loaves and homemade spreads, Moss, the only full-service dining concept in the space, serving California-inspired cuisine, Lucky Peach for smoothies and juices, The Deli for hearty Asian and international fare, Campfire for the aforementioned Tajima steak, and Poofy, Habitat’s collaboration with Japanese souffle pancake place Riz Labo Kitchen.


Campfire

Our pick of the whole space though? The Wine & Spirits retail corner, a recreation of a literal wine cellar home to bottled craft beers, wines, sakes and other special-edition craft beverages. You’ll be pleased to know that despite the presentation, the prices remain grocery store-competitive.

It’s all a lot to take in, and overwhelming for sure. But the dedication in providing a space that’s equal parts convenience and visual appeal makes Habitat an exciting new contender in the supermarket scene—even if it’s located deep in the South. As CEO and co-founder Joel Sng succinctly put it, “It’s not a question of offline versus online. It’s offline and online.” If this is the future of retail, consider us game.

Check out this first look here:


habitat by honestbee is located at 34 Boon Leat Terrace, Singapore 119866, and is open 8am-10pm daily from Oct 18. More information here.