All businesses carry inherent risks, and especially so in Singapore. Our small and highly competitive economy requires businesses to keep up with the changing preferences and needs of our people. Market failure is inevitable, but the impact of the brand lingers on. Some of these brands have came and left Singapore, some with a bang, others just quietly exits the market. We look at 10 businesses in Singapore that have closed down in the 2000s:
1) This Fashion
Many will remember this apparel store as a resident anchor in many MRT stations and heartland malls. At its peak, This Fashion had more than 45 outlets in Singapore. The franchise winded up businesses after an ensuing lawsuit of over S$250,000 debt.
NewUrbanMale was one of the major tenant back at The Heeren. The local casual wear brand is noted for the cheeky slogan tees and also for the sole distributorship of Havaianas into the Singapore market. The shops were subsequently closed in 2012 after losing the distributorship of the popular flip-flops brand.
3) Sembawang Music Center
The eponymous Sembawang Music Center enjoyed brisk business back at Sembawang Shopping Center, which would later grow into Singapore’s largest music retail chain, generating about $20 million in turnover. Sembawang Music Center became a listed company, with 24 stores at its peak. The retail chain suffered from rising rents and poor business as a result of internet proliferation, and closed down all its stores in 2009.
4) River Island
River Island was among the leagues of Topman, proving itself to be popular among the teens. The retail chain closed all its stores in 2012, the last one being ION Orchard where H&M resides now. The Brit label, however, returns through online retailer Zalora, avoiding the sorry-state of its former brick-and-mortar business model.
5) Canele Patisserie
Canele Patisserie was one of the first shop to serve high-end French pastries and cakes in Singapore. They are perhaps, most well-known for their affordable and dainty macarons. Canele closed after a good 10-year business in Singapore in 2014.
Frolick was perhaps best known for spearheading the notion of “pretty froyo girls” in Singapore, purportedly hiring only pleasant-looking girls for their stores. Frolick enjoyed great success in the Singapore market until the rising competitions from other frozen yoghurt franchise that differentiated themselves.
Carrefour pulled out of the Singapore market in 2012 and it did not come as a surprise. Bringing the concept of hypermarket in Singapore, Carrefour had a tough time penetrating the existing networks of supermarkets that proved to be more profitable.
Writer: Leong Chee Sheng Images as linked