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Grim outlook for Singapore retailers

Singapore retailers are facing “dark days”, including store closures, according to Singapore real estate company CBRE.

With falling domestic demand and soaring costs, there will be more store consolidations and closures, it says in a new report.

It predicts the retail market to undergo further restructuring following a muted performance last year, with weak brands being elbowed out, reports the Singapore Business Review.

“This year will be marked by challenging conditions that could push weaker-performing brands to close or downsize.”

There will also become harder to hire staff, with the report warning it is “highly unlikely” the government will lift restrictions on hiring foreigners. However, the costs and time associated with innovation and revamp are likely to keep a lid on expansion plans.

CBRE says the fast-fashion segment will be particularly hit hard by manpower constraints and lack of suitable retail space. It says cheaper running costs in neighbouring countries have helped pull fast-fashion retailers’ attention away from Singapore.

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