Isetan Singapore closing Parkway Parade store by March 2022

Isetan Katong opened at Parkway Parade back in 1983 - marking the company's penetration into suburban Singapore. ST PHOTO: GIN TAY

SINGAPORE - Department store operator Isetan Singapore will be closing its Parkway Parade outlet when its lease expires next March.

The company has no plans to find a replacement store and will continue its operations at its remaining stores in Shaw House, Tampines Mall and Nex, it announced in a bourse filing on Friday (Aug 13).

The lease for Isetan's Parkway Parade store expires on March 9, 2022. It had been extended for 15 months from the end of its previous term.

Isetan said that negotiations with the landlord for a further extension of the Parkway Parade lease "did not yield a positive result".

Isetan Katong opened at Parkway Parade back in 1983 - marking the Japanese retail giant's penetration into suburban Singapore.

It currently occupies retail space on two floors of the Marine Parade Road mall, after starting with three floors when it opened.

In March 2020, Isetan discontinued operations of its Westgate store in Jurong East. It decided not to renew the lease for the store after failing to come to an agreement with its landlord, and noted in a regulatory filing in 2019 that the outlet was loss-making.

Isetan's shrinking presence here reflects the tough outlook for the retail sector, already hit by online shopping and now battered by the Covid-19 pandemic and related restrictions.

Retailers which have exited the Singapore market or shifted their operations online in recent months include home-grown department store Robinsons, sporting goods store Sportslink and fashion brand Topshop.

Home appliance store Courts will be taking over Robinsons' prime retail space at The Heeren in Orchard Road in the first quarter of next year, and will turn the 189,000 sq ft space into the chain's flagship outlet.

At the same time, Courts will vacate its existing store at 228 Orchard Road by the time its lease runs out at the end of January 2022. Its landlord OG Pte Ltd confirmed that Courts served notice on its lease in July.

Separately, on Friday, Isetan announced its latest financials, posting a net profit of $1.25 million for the six months that ended on June 30, reversing the net loss of $317,000 for the same period a year ago.

This was due to a recovery in sales from its stores being able to remain operational throughout the six-month period, it said.

Isetan's earnings per share stood at 3.03 cents, compared with the losses per share of 0.77 cents a year ago.

Its revenue for the period was $38.4 million, 12.8 per cent higher than a year ago. This was due to higher sales of goods from the retail segment, higher consignment income and higher rental income from the Isetan Wisma Atria investment property, the company said.

The higher sales of goods came in contrast to last year's enforced closure during the circuit breaker between April 7 and June 18.

Revenue also received a boost from Isetan's investment in Wisma Atria compared with last year, when mandatory rental rebates were given to its smaller tenants in line with the Government's Covid-19 support measures.

But the recovery in sales seen in the first half of this year was disrupted by tighter measures imposed during Singapore's phase two (heightened alert) from May 16 to June 13, Isetan said.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.