Streetwear chain 77th Street is about to become another victim of Singapore’s struggling retail scene.
The home-grown clothing company will close the doors of its last outlet, in Ang Mo Kio, by the end of this month, according to Channel NewsAsia.
Founder Elim Chew says high rents have forced the closure, with the present rate of $35 a square foot having risen from $9 when she started the business at Far East Plaza in 1988.
At one point, 77th Street had 16 outlets around Singapore, and was the first Singaporean retailer to set up a shopping mall in China in the early 2000s by opening 77th Street Plaza. This has since closed.
Chew has now ventured into the logistics industry, setting up the app Fastfast along with Adrian Ng of mobile app and retail technology developer Codigo. The app allows people in between jobs or retirees to become document or package couriers. About 4500 people have signed up to be FastFast drivers, according to The Straits Times.
Meanwhile, the first six months of this year have seen several retail brands exit Singapore, including Britain’s New Look, French menswear chain Celio, and local label M)Phosis.