SINGAPORE - A number of department stores have left Singapore's premier shopping destination of Orchard Road in recent years, although experts told The Straits Times the departures are part of an ongoing evolution of Orchard Road into a lifestyle destination.
Here are the once-household names that have exited the prime retail belt in recent times.
OG at Orchard Point
Earlier this month, department store OG announced plans to close its Orchard Point outlet in October this year, after an 18-year tenure.
An OG spokesman said the closure was part of its long-term strategy to open more outlets closer to its customers in the suburbs.
OG agreed to lease its Orchard Point outlet location to a local business that will set up its flagship store and transform the space into a mega-mart concept, specialising in fresh food and groceries.
Staff will be transferred to OG's remaining two outlets at Albert Complex and People's Park.
Robinsons at The Heeren
After 162 years , Robinsons closed its last two outlets at The Heeren and Raffles City in December 2020 and January last year respectively.
It cited reasons such as shifting consumer buying patterns and high rent prices, whose impact made worse by the pandemic.
In 2014, it closed its outlet at The Centrepoint, after 31 years as the mall's anchor tenant.
In June last year, Robinsons returned as an online store, Robinsons Department Stores Online.
Home appliance megastore Courts took over Robinsons' prime retail spot at The Heeren in November last year.
Metro at The Centrepoint
Established in the 1950s, the Singapore brand closed its six-story flagship store at The Centrepoint in September 2019, after five years as the mall's anchor tenant.
Metro's outlet stores at Paragon and Causeway Point are operating.
Sports goods giant Decathlon replaced Metro as anchor tenant in September 2020.
John Little at Plaza Singapura
The chain's last store closed in Plaza Singapura in December 2016.
At the time of the closure, John Little was the oldest department store in Singapore, having been in the country for 174 years. Over the years it also had stores at Marina Square, White Sands and Tiong Bahru Plaza, among other locations.
The brand has made minor appearances from time to time in the form of pop-up stores, such as at Suntec City in 2017 and Singpost Centre in 2018.
Correction note: In an earlier version of the story, we said that Metro is an Indonesian brand. This is incorrect. Metro is a Singapore brand. We are sorry for the error.