Brands turn to pop-ups amidst ex­its

Singapore Business Review - - CONTENTS -

Amer­i­can ap­parel brands are strug­gling in Sin­ga­pore as seen in the back to back ex­its re­ported ear­lier this year. Amongst the big names that closed up shop on the first half of the year are Gap which shut all of its stores at Sun­tec City and Vivoc­ity, and Ba­nana Repub­lic which shut down out­lets at Paragon and MBS in Fe­bru­ary.

In the same month, Amer­i­can Ea­gle Out­fit­ters also left the mar­ket after it closed its Sun­tec City out­let and Vivoc­ity flag­ship store. In

March, Cortina Hold­ings va­cated all of its Or­chard Road-fac­ing watch bou­tiques on the first and sec­ond level of Wisma Atria, leav­ing 4,700 sqft of space un­oc­cu­pied. The re­tail chain re­tained only its Ray­mond Weil Bou­tique on the third level of Wisma Atria.

Sav­ills Sin­ga­pore re­search di­rec­tor Alan Cheong noted that in the Cen­tral area, less re­silient re­tail brands have been bat­tered by com­pe­ti­tion with e-com­merce and fast fash­ion la­bels such as Zara and H&M per­sisted. This along with in­creas­ing rents pushed ma­jor brands out of the city.

But here’s a sil­ver lin­ing for strug­gling re­tail­ers: pop up stores. Amidst the sea of change dis­rupt­ing the re­tail land­scape, lux­ury brands have gone the pop up route to sur­vive.

Fol­low­ing the launch of Chanel’s pop-up store at MBS last year, Miu Miu opened a 1,205-sqft disco themed shop space at Paragon whilst Fendi brought in its Fendi Kiosk to ION Or­chard in Fe­bru­ary.

In June, French lux­ury fash­ion house Chloe has also opened its firstever pop-up con­cept in Sin­ga­pore. At Ion Or­chard’s atrium, the store cu­rates 20 ex­clu­sive Chloe prod­ucts rang­ing from the clas­sic Drew Bi­jou and Roy bags to dainty small leather goods and even sun­glasses.

“The model has since grown beyond on­line re­tail­ers to en­com­pass es­tab­lished fash­ion la­bels as well as lux­ury brands,” Cheong noted. As the lease terms are of­ten shorter, pop-up stores are a more cost-ef­fec­tive op­tion to cre­ate phys­i­cal pres­ence in pre­mier shop­ping belts like Or­chard Road and Ma­rina Bay Sands (MBS) where rents are on the high side. “The unique con­cept draws in crowds to malls, pop-ups also help to build buzz for brands,” he added.

Fol­low­ing the launch of Chanel’s popup store at MBS last year, Miu Miu opened a 1,205-sqft disco-themed shop space at Paragon.

The trav­el­ling Fendi Kiosk ar­rived in Sin­ga­pore in Fe­bru­ary

Chloe’s first ever pop-up store

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