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One Raffles Place losing major tenants

Three years after reopening following a major makeover, One Raffles Place is losing its major tenants.

Korean cafe Paris Baguette, fashion retailer Uniqlo and lingerie brand Victoria’s Secret have already closed their stores at the six-storey mall next to Raffles Place MRT station.

Shoe brand Melissa, jeweller Pandora, watch brand Swatch and travel products store Tumi have decided not to renew their leases and will shut soon, reports The Straits Times, which last week found that at least 14 of the mall’s 113 tenants have already closed.

At least another 13 retailers will be moving out by next month when their three-year lease ends, which means nearly a quarter of the mall’s retail space could be empty.

The closure of major tenants at One Raffles Place has upset smaller tenants, with some claiming they were not told of the defections before renewing their leases, says the newspaper.

Moving out next week, The Body Shop outlet has not been making a profit, says assistant manager Nur Zalifah. Customer numbers had fallen after its immediate neighbour Uniqlo closed this month.

Other tenants moving out include Evergreen Stationery, Blow + Bar hair salon and Yami Yogurt. Mr Teh Tarik Express cafe is also going, saying its rent had been doubled.

A mall spokesman trotted out a standard property management statement when contacted by the Straits Times for comment. He said tenant attrition is normal upon lease expiration – which is true, but not to this extent. “We are taking this opportunity to refresh the tenant mix and inject vibrancy into the mall.”

He also says the mall has “a healthy occupancy rate” – which is clearly nonsense. Simple maths based on 27 closures gives an occupancy rate of 76 per cent – unacceptable in any shopping centre anywhere on the planet, let alone in Singapore.

Meanwhile, anchor tenant, Swedish clothing retailer H&M which spans two levels, has not confirmed if it will be staying when its lease ends.

Photo: Straits Times

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