Retailers gearing up for competition from new malls

The expected influx of retail space in Singapore in the next few years, and the promise of newer concepts from retailers overseas, are keeping current stores in Singapore on their toes.

The Singapore Retailers Association said many local names are starting to gear up for the challenge.

Brand specialists are hailing the efforts, saying these will refresh the shopping scene in Singapore.

They are still being constructed, but new malls like 313@ Somerset and Ion Orchard in Singapore’s prime shopping belt are already making their presence felt.

With the promise of new concept stores and even more international brand names, current retailers in Singapore are starting to get hot around the collar.

Jannie Tay, President, Singapore Retailers Association, said: “You get a lot more new brands coming in, new concepts even for existing retailers. They’re dealing with (a) different lifestyle kind of clientele base. (Retailers)…who have originally updated, restructured and re-engineered their concepts (over the last 10 years)…it’s 10 years old now, and everyone is looking to refresh themselves in these new malls.”

And brand specialists said it is about time.

Singapore has been missing a new conceptual thinking in retail that its competitors, like Hong Kong, have already caught on to.

Joseph Baladi, CEO, Brand Asian, said: “It’s going to change what Singaporean shoppers are already complaining about…same old, same old, same sort of stores, just more available in more places.

“That’s going to come not necessarily from existing retailers for a very simple reason. They have vested interests. They have an existing infrastructure in place, an existing business model in place. What they really want to do is make more money from their existing investments.”

According to experts, what is missing is new ideas from dreamers outside the business. And government agencies like SPRING can play a role in this, by helping not only existing Singapore Retail Association members – but those outside on the fringe.

On concerns that the influx of new retail space will be too much to be sustainable, analysts point to the firm retail rentals as a sign that demand is keeping up. – CNA/ms

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 8 Aug 2008

Join The Discussion

Compare listings