Marks & Spencer to remain at Raffles City

A Marks & Spencer sale last year at Raffles City Shopping Centre. The retailer had announced its exit there last month.
A Marks & Spencer sale last year at Raffles City Shopping Centre. The retailer had announced its exit there last month.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

Robinsons' sister brand Marks & Spencer will not be closing its Raffles City Shopping Centre outlet despite having said last year that it would do so on the last day of 2020.

The lease at Raffles City was signed under Robinsons, which announced its exit from Singapore last October after 162 years of operation.

"While we were initially reviewing our Raffles City Shopping Centre store, through our long-term partnership with CapitaLand, we're delighted to continue serving customers at this store," a Marks & Spencer spokesman told The Straits Times on Tuesday.

Robinsons, which also had an outlet in the same mall, closed its doors there on Jan 9.

The Marks & Spencer outlet at Raffles City opened in 1986 and is the brand's oldest store in Singapore. The British retailer had announced its exit from Raffles City with a "moving out sale" advertisement in The Straits Times last month.

Its earnings had been falling in recent years. The after-tax profit in 2018 was $101,613, down from $2.9 million the previous year.

Marks & Spencer and Robinsons were part of the Dubai-based Al-Futtaim group, owned by Emirati tycoon Abdulla Al Futtaim.

Besides shuttering Robinsons, The Business Times reported last month that the company had sold sports retailer Royal Sporting House to UAE-based Gulf Marketing Group.

There are 11 Marks & Spencer stores in Singapore, including a pop-up unit at Waterway Point.

The spokesman declined to comment on what prompted the change of plans or add to who the new lease is signed under.

She said: "We're committed to offering the best shopping experience and responding to our customers' needs.

"As part of that, we continually review our estate to ensure our stores are located in the right places."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 22, 2021, with the headline 'Marks & Spencer to remain at Raffles City'. Subscribe