Continuing its effort to reshape supply chains for the future, Fung Group has established a new incubator lab aimed squarely at innovating for the apparel and retail space.
It’s where breakthroughs in global retail technology will learn to integrate with digital innovations for supply chains, or in other words, as Fung Group puts it, “the world’s first retail business model testing platform.”
The Fung Group has revamped its large-scale Shanghai-based “Explorium,” originally established two years ago to provide a platform for testing retail concepts in a simulated environment—a place to innovate for the “new retail” without the risk that often keeps companies back.
At Explorium, as many as 2,000 visitors a week peruse shops inside the space and buy things using mobile devices, and a wristband recording data tracks their movements so companies can see how consumers react to new things in real time.
[Read more about Li & Fung on supply chains: Li & Fung Says Supply Chains Haven’t Been Built for Today’s Demands at Retail]
Now, with Explorium 2.0, the Fung Group wants to build an open ecosystem that brings together supply chain players from startups to incubators and venture capitalists to rally around innovations from concept to commerce.
“We are connecting innovators who want to create digital supply chains of the future with logistics and retail innovators who want to be the best at serving the digitally-enabled consumer of today and tomorrow,” Fung Group chairman Dr. Victor K. Fung said in a statement.
At Explorium, 6,400-square-meters of co-working space will be available for startups to use, there’s a fabric library for apparel manufacturing decked out with the latest digital tools for 3-D product rendering and virtual sampling, and there’ll be a 3-D printing experimentation platform available as, according to Fung Group, “in the future, 80 percent of a product will be mass-produced and the remaining 20 percent will be customizable.”
The hope is that Explorium will become a strategic bridge to allow Chinese startups to venture into global markets where Fung Group has robust retail distribution and capabilities, which overseas retail tech companies will also be able to tap into to enter the Chinese market.
“In an era of unprecedented disruption to retail worldwide, we are using the convening power of the Fung Group’s global network of suppliers, distributors and customers to help incubators and their startups test new ideas and develop new products, and to help accelerate technologies that provide smart solutions for retail, supply chain and logistics in China, and globally,” Fung said. “We aim to make it a seamless experience for all.”