Singapore Apple retailer Epicentre to exit business

Singapore Apple retailer Epicentre is exiting the business, selling its four stores and e-commerce site to a rival reseller.

In a stock exchange announcement, parent Epicentre Holdings said it had entered into a conditional sale and purchase agreement with Elush (T3), which runs the iStudio chain.

Epicentre will receive S$516,275 for the business. Elush will take over the store leases, including its prime Orchard Road sites at Ion Orchard and Wheelock Place, where trade was affected by the opening of the Apple Store. Its other stores were at Bugis Junction and Marina Bay Sands. The Epicentre brand name will live on through a licensing agreement with Elush (T3).

While shareholders have yet to approve the deal, Epicentre will entirely exit the Apple Authorised Reseller and Apple Premium Reseller businesses in Singapore. It will continue to operate as an Apple Authorised Reseller in Malaysia.

The company said it was difficult to compete with Apple’s plan of opening its own large-format stores.

“With Apple’s upcoming plan, the company has decided to dispose of the business and focus on its beauty, wellness and lifestyle business, while looking at other possible related businesses.”

Epicentre was founded in 2002 and at one point operated 10 outlets in Singapore, Malaysia and China. In the six months to December the company posted a pretax loss of $55,000 in its Singapore Apple operations.

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