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Singapore retail sales slip

Sales food and beverage (F&B) in Singapore rose year on year, but the rest of the city state’s retail market was in a state of flux according to data from the Department of Statistics Singapore (SingStat).

Singapore company formation specialist Rikvin views the year-on-year sales performances as indicators of which retail sectors could be hiring.

Overall, the F&B sector enjoyed a 2.6 per cent year-on-year increase in sales between December 2011 and 2012. Over the period, food caterers, restaurants and other eating places enjoyed 4.5 per cent, three per cent and 2.8 per cent increase in receipts respectively. Fast food outlets recorded a 0.8 per cent fall over the same period.

Meanwhile, in total, the retail sector contracted by 1.5 per cent year-on-year. Excluding motor vehicle sales, the retail sector contracted by 0.4 per cent on an annual basis.

On a year-on-year basis, retailers of food and beverages and supermarkets recorded 6.3 per cent and 7.3 per cent change in sales between December 2011 and December 2012, representing the biggest increase in sales at current prices between that period. Over the same period, sales in medical goods and toiletries (4.1 per cent), watches and jewellery (3.2 per cent), furniture and household equipment (1.9 per cent) and provision and sundry shops (1.8 per cent) also performed positively.

Telecommunications devices and computers demonstrated the biggest dip in sales, representing a 12.1 per cent fall between December 2011 and 2012. Optical goods and books, apparel and footwear, petrol service stations, recreational goods and motor vehicles recorded lower sales ranging between 1.5 per cent and 6.1 per cent during the same period.

“Last week, we reported that the Restaurant Association of Singapore has appealed to the government for a review of Singapore work pass policies to boost the F&B industry. However, the latest SingStat figures show that restaurants have fared better than some other services sectors year-on-year,” said Christine Lim, GM of Rikvin.

“To have a better understanding of whether Singapore’s manpower measures truly need to be altered to aid the F&B industry, we must compare the year-on-year performance come July,” she said.

Lim said companies should tap the various public-funded schemes to upgrade the skills of their existing workers so that they may become value-added workers and earn higher wages.


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