Four industry bodies tie up to engage landlords on rental costs

Four industry bodies in Singapore have banded together to battle the current downturn.

The Singapore Retailers Association, the Restaurant Association of Singapore, the Singapore Jewellers Association, and the Textile and Fashion Federation have pledged to share information and create a unified stance on matters common to their industries.

In a joint statement, the four industry bodies say they have tied up to engage and seek partnerships with landlords in a bid to prevent more shop closures and job layoffs.

The unprecedented move comes in response to landlords’ refusal to heed calls to offer rental rebates to help tenants weather the current economic downturn.

The industry bodies say they will “work together in an attempt to secure a future for their respective sectors and for Singapore, before Singapore’s image suffers from empty shop units and half-full shopping malls”.

According to the associations’ members, occupancy costs remain the biggest burden. And if it is not addressed, it could lead to more stores closure and push up the unemployment rate.

Just last week, the Singapore Retailers Association said it expects job losses to surge by the end of June – hitting as many as 20,000 over the next few months.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 18 Mar 2009

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