Brands turn to pop-ups amidst exits
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