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Singapore retail rent decline worsens

The Singapore retail rent decline gathered pace in the last quarter according to data from Edmund Tie & Company.

In the second quarter, retail rents across the board fell by 3.9 per cent quarter-quarter.  That was double the 1.9 per cent decline of the preceding quarter.

Amid weaker demand, occupancy levels also dipped, falling by 0.5 percentage points quarter-on-quarter to 92.2 per cent.

“In light of declining rents, several established retailers have taken – or are taking – advantage of the lower rents to reinforce their brand presence in Singapore through flagship stores,” the company’s quarterly review said.

Edmund Tie said such flagship stores included:

  • Choo Yilin at Mandarin Gallery.
  • HP at Marina Square.
  • Christian Dada at 268 Orchard.
  • Victoria’s Secret at Mandarin Gallery, (pictured above).
  • Uniqlo at Orchard Central.
  • Michael Kors at Mandarin Gallery.

OUE Limited, which manages malls including Mandarin Gallery, advised Inside Retail Singapore that including Victoria’s Secret and Michael Kors on the list was “inaccurate”.

“The retailers mentioned above are commanding market rent and as such the report by Inside Retail Asia is not factual,” said a spokesperson for OUE. Furthermore, the Choo Yilin store was a pop-up rather than a flagship.

Edmund Tie said that as the sector undergoes bouts of restructuring, retailers are also constantly reinventing themselves to reach out to the rising number of technological-savvy consumers. “This includes the recent launch of digital wallets (eg: Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Android Pay) which a string of established retailers have adopted, including Starbucks, Uniqlo, NTUC FairPrice and Cold Storage.”

Headquartered in Singapore and supported by offices in Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok, Edmund Tie & Company is an established real-estate consulting firm that operates across Malaysia, Thailand and other countries in Southeast Asia.

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