Custom shirt maker Marcella menswear is closing all its Singapore stores in a shift away from bricks & mortar stores.
The Marcella group has written to its customers to apologise for closing its outlets over the past few months.
“We definitely owe you guys an explanation,” says the letter, explaining the company is in the process of being acquired by a global made-to-measure group.
“This necessitates the closure of physical points-of-sales as it does not fit into their growth strategy,” the letter says. “We had hoped for a smoother, more seamless transition, but such may not be the case.”
Marcella was offering discounts of up to 50 per cent in the lead-up to its final closure, the Tampines outlet, last Friday.
Management has promised to fulfill outstanding orders, or provide full refunds.
“Our online store will continue to operate indefinitely. We will continue to do our best to ensure a smooth transition for all customers, and appreciate all the feedback and support we’ve received over the past five years.”
Marcella started as a 150 sqft (14 sqm) shop at The Cathay in 2010 with the vision of “being disruptive in the local tailoring industry and retail at outrageous prices”, according to co-owner Firas Alsuwaigh in an interview with The Asian Entrepreneur. The concept was hatched by four university undergrads – Alsuwaigh along with Daniel Chui, Alvin Teo and Lai Chang Wen.
Acquiring its first factory in 2011, the company developed algorithms to automate apparel drafting – a move that helped it become Singapore’s largest custom apparel retailer.
As well as five outlets in Singapore, Marcella opened a New York flagship store in June, and has previously had pop-up stores in London, Melbourne and Sydney. There were plans to expand into Indonesia and Malaysia.
As well as customised shirts, the stores sold suits and accessories.
In 2014, Marcella ran a charity drive that resulted in more than 1000 shirts being donated to migrant workers who could not afford new shirts in Singapore.