(Source: Inside Retail Asia | 8 April 2016)
High costs and sagging sales are forcing Singapore retailers to close shop or rethink their game.
In a move to consolidate and re-strategise, distributor Jay Gee Melwani Group says eight stores in various malls showcasing the British brand New Look and French menswear chain Celio will close in the second half of the year.
Affected staff will have the option of being redeployed to other stores in the group, including Aeropostale, Aldo, Converse, Dockers, Levi’s and health supplement chain Holland & Barrett.
Jay Gee Melwani’s move follows Al-Futtaim Group’s decision to shut 10 loss-making outlets under its Singapore distribution and retailing arm RSH later this year.
Meanwhile, vacancy rates are rising in malls and suburban areas.
JLL data shows that The Marina retail submarket, including such malls as Marina Square and Suntec City, has the highest vacancy at 6.1 per cent, followed by Orchard (3.1 per cent) and the suburban submarket (less than 2 per cent).
Another store closing its doors, but planning to reopen in another area next year, is CB2, the sister store of US furniture and homeware brand Crate & Barrel.
Executive director Yung Ong of the Singapore branches of Crate & Barrel and CB2, says after three years unprofitability, it is time to move to a better location.
He says the group is looking for space in a mall for a replacement shop, probably in Orchard Rd. CB2 is on the second level of Peranaken Place, a row of shophouses next to The Centrepoint mall in Somerset, and will hold a closing sale before closing next month.
Crate & Barrel has two Singapore outlets, a five-storey flagship store in Orchard Gateway and a smaller store in Ion Orchard.