Tough retail scene exacts toll on shops and landlords

British brand New Look (left) and French menswear chain Celio will close in the second half of the year, amid competition from e-commerce, weak consumer sentiment and rising business costs in the retail scene.
British brand New Look (left) and French menswear chain Celio will close in the second half of the year, amid competition from e-commerce, weak consumer sentiment and rising business costs in the retail scene.ST PHOTO: WONG SIEW YING

Two fashion brands will be exiting the challenging retail scene here.

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, said distributor Jay Gee Melwani Group.

Last week, Al-Futtaim Group said it will shut 10 loss-making outlets here under its distribution and retailing arm RSH later this year.

 
 

Competition from e-commerce, weak consumer spending and rising business costs have exacted a heavy toll on retailers. The weakening retail scene has also hit landlords, with vacancy rates in shopping malls rising.

The Marina retail submarket - which includes malls such as Marina Square and Suntec City - has the highest vacancy at 6.1 per cent, followed by Orchard with 3.1 per cent, and the suburban submarket with less than 2 per cent.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 07, 2016, with the headline 'Tough retail scene exacts toll on shops and landlords'. Print Edition | Subscribe