Coronavirus: How S'pore businesses affected by closures are adapting to survive

PHOTOS: ST FILE, ODE TO ART/FACEBOOK

SINGAPORE - Lengthy closures and cautious consumer spending amid the pandemic are forcing some firms to the wall but others see innovation as the key to survival.

The Straits Times speaks to three local firms that remain shut during phase one of Singapore's reopening but are adapting to the challenges and changing how they do business for good.


Zouk to turn Capital lounge into eatery, rent out club space for livestreaming amid club shutdown


Zouk Group chief executive Andrew Li said the new revenue streams will hopefully keep it afloat until revellers can return to the dance floor. PHOTO: ST FILE

What was once one of the most crowded nightspots in Singapore has sat empty for more than two months, with no end to the shutdown in sight.

The closure has prompted Zouk's management team to get creative to prevent layoffs.

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FJ Benjamin launching online-only labels, venturing beyond fashion


FJ Benjamin's chief executive Nash Benjamin said that the firm is expanding into "consumer-facing products" in the light of the Covid-19 situation. PHOTO: ST FILE

When the coronavirus pandemic forced fashion retailer FJ Benjamin to temporarily shut its nearly 300 stores in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia, falling back on online sales was not an option.

Brand owners traditionally grant brick-and-mortar rights to distributors, so of the 18 brands in its portfolio, it ran an e-commerce store only for one - Superdry - then.

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Gallery reinvents itself with virtual exhibitions, artist livestreams


The gallery held its first online auction in April, raising $60,600 for low-income households affected by the Covid-19 outbreak. PHOTO: ODE TO ART/FACEBOOK

From a studio tour by Miami-based German sculptor Rainer Lagemann to a virtual exhibition hosted by Chinese artist Wu Qiong, house-bound art lovers have been getting an inside look at the creative process thanks to an initiative by local art gallery Ode to Art.

The weekly Facebook Live sessions are among the ways the firm has been engaging customers since its gallery at Raffles City Shopping Centre shut in April.

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