Success in business is often a matter of degrees, finding that unique niche that sets you apart from the competition in a way that is meaningful to potential customers, but isn’t gimmicky. In the category of “I’m not sure if this is cool or silly” I present for your consideration, the bank in a garden.
For their 1,000th branch, Siam Commercial Bank (SCB), Thailand’s oldest bank, created what they are calling a “bank in a garden”, a themed branch that has just opened in the newly remodeled Paradise Park mall on the city’s rapidly expanding eastern flank.
Paradise Park, which was previously known as Seri Center, has undergone a complete makeover and as part of it, SCB decided to make a big splash in keeping with the new mall’s “Oasis of Eastern Bangkok” theme.
I’m all for innovation and certainly banking, which is still largely done in person here in Thailand (which explains why they have 1,000 branches!), is a task that will benefit from nearly anything that can make it more pleasant. But I’m not sure that artificial grass and artificial shrubs and wicker lawn furniture is going to help. Especially in a few months when the fake leaves and blades of grass start to fall (or be pulled) off and the greenery starts to have some bare patches.
What are your thoughts? Would you like to have a bank in a garden at your local branch?
I find this interesting. My friend (who designed my store) had a similar idea for another fashion store… the client didn’t find it exciting though.
I’m all for new concepts and to me, this is definitely different. As long as proper care is maintained, I think it’s feasible.
What if there is a classroom in a garden? Can the students concentrate anymore? They will think they are on holiday or want to be on holiday.
You know, I really can’t decide. I think if something like that suddenly appeared in our town centre – it just might look a bit odd. But you say this bank has been specially designed to fit in with what sounds like very unusual surroundings. Even without seeing pictures (cough, cough, hint Lol)’Paradise Park Mall’ and ‘Oasis Of Bangkok’ sound like something that is very, very different from what one might call the ‘normal’ high street atmosphere, so perhaps this particular bank actually blends in perfectly with the theme of things. Have other businesses in the mall done anything similar ? I think that, without being able to see this bank and how it fits in with it’s surroundings, it’s hard to pass a judgement on it.
I think people are more relax in natural environment. But I prefer a bank in a real garden which can smell grass. No artificial one please 🙂
I don’t think that even banking in a garden could make me enjoy going to the bank.
I bet the bank employees would feel less stressful in this garden environment!
That’s pretty cool!
I like the idea. I feel being close to nature calms one and lessen stress. It may not work in all store and situation but in a bank yes.
I dislike everything that is fake…. especially fake grass and flowers. If it were a small bank in a real garden, I think it would be cool. Would be novel to have people spend time there to smell the flowers. All fake things collect dust. Yuck!
This environment might appeal to Asian women who are into anything cutesy-fartsy. Or it might appeal to women who have to bring their small children in. Children would remember this sort of thing throughout their lives, and may choose to use this bank in the future if they see their parents use it-unless that is the sort of advertising that only works for Americans. When I look at your pictures, I see an airline commercial/travel agency with those pretty smiling stewardesses who are only too happy to serve you and your airplane needs. Who wouldn’t want to travel to another place if only for a moment. I see the theme working, but I don’t know anything about Thailand’s culture.I would have loved it as a kid. As an adult, I would probably learn to appreciate it.
Wow – lots of comments and thoughts. Thanks to everyone for sharing them here!@Dezinerdreams – I feel like the idea would work very well in a boutique clothing shop, especially if you could introduce some real plants.@Southeast_Beauty – @ZSA_MD – As you both point out, the challenge is going to be proper care, otherwise the dust settles in. The good news is that with labor being so cheap in Thailand, most businesses (and certainly bank branches) have at least one maid who is running around cleaning all day long. This should ensure no dust in the fake hedges. Maybe she will glue on replacement leaves, too, if children pull any off!@choyshinglin – A school in a garden… interesting idea. I can imagine it would actually inspire learning and be much more interesting for children than being stuck in a concrete box.@Chatamanda – Okay, hint taken. I haven’t been to the mall – it is rather far away – but I’m not sure how much the “oasis” theme really carries through the entire space. Maybe if I have the time I can make a trip out there and see what this Paradise Park is all about. A friend’s mother has a food shop there so that would be a good excuse.@MichellelyNg – Just wait until they start spraying the branch with the artificial “grass” aromas!@TheCheshireGrins – How about a bank in a garden with a fountain and a string quartet? =D@foggysunnymorning – Especially if you are just using the ATM, right? Hard to enter your PIN if there are vines in the way1@CurryPuffy – That’s an interesting perspective, Gary. The employees probably would be happier to be in a nice environment.@yang1815 – @Fatcat723 – I’m reminded of a gas station I used to stop at in Century City, Los Angeles when I lived there. It was adjacent to Beverly Hills and was kept very clean and neat. The toilets even had potted plants and were painted to resemble a garden. Maybe this is a concept that can be expanded from banks?@sassyjessie – Two good points – thanks! Children will definitely like it, so the parent bringing the children on a banking errand may have a more pleasant time by virtue of their children having fun. And the success will depend on the culture – I suspect that Thais, particularly Thai women, will appreciate this design.
@christao408 – The new garden toilet for your bathroom renovation needs! Buy it now bundled with our night soil picnic basket for a bigger discount!
silly says it all
That might be okay 🙂
@yang1815 – LOL
nah… not for me.
Looks more like a garden in a bank to me. And a fake garden is just odd…
I like it 🙂 Better than boring normal banks. Seems more lively!It would be amusing if the garden-bank ever gets robbed… (“Give me all of your cash, I’ve got a gun. OK good. Now you guys go sit in those wicker chairs and don’t try anything funny.”)
@TheCheshireGrins – awww!
I like the clean crispness of it. But a bank here is known for it’s deep seriousness. Mahogany Desks and dust-free picture frames…=( Cold hard cash. haha
That be awesome! I think the green is relaxing and also matches the theme of a bank being associated with money.
@Shades_of_Athena – And while money doesn’t grow on trees, you can get some from the ATMs that are in the shrubbery! Ha ha!@z_stands_for – I’ve noticed that all of the banks in Thailand have rebranded in the last few years and now have modern, colorful appearances. Definitely more approachable than the staid mahogany desks, etc.@Senlin – Very funny! Someone could turn the sprinklers on and the robbers would get wet.@murisopsis – A fake garden is just… fake.@ElusiveWords – How about a bank in a bakery?
I never actually go inside my bank, so I’m not sure it would make much of a difference. Although, next time we’re in Bangkok, I might have to check this out for fun!
@christao408 – Brilliant! I can dream that one day money WILL grow on trees!
@Pepin909 – You can send pictures of it to your local bank and demand they add some shrubs!@Shades_of_Athena – Oh, if only…