Over a year since the pandemic began, the world is still grappling with the ongoing aftershocks of Covid-19.
Businesses have taken serious hits in the face of the pandemic, the latest being American casualwear brand Abercrombie & Fitch (A&F).
It has announced that its only physical store in Singapore will close from 2 May 2021.
However, the brand will carry on with its online sales.
Abercrombie & Fitch to close Orchard store
On Sunday (18 Apr), the popular fashion brand announced on Instagram that it’ll close its retail store in Singapore on 2 May.
This comes as a shock to many, as the brand is extremely popular among youths who love casual t-shirts and apparels.
Besides, the shop also caused quite a stir back in 2011, when it greeted the Singaporean masses with its signature shirtless models.
Air-dropped from countries such as the United States, Germany and Japan, A&F’s debut on Orchard Road was certainly one to remember.
Chain of closures across continents
This move comes amid the brand’s decision to close physical stores across multiple countries.
Back in Mar 2020, A&F announced the closure of all stores in North America and Europe, while those in Asia-Pacific (APAC) would remain open.
However, with the brand’s latest announcement, it seems that more physical fronts are set to close in the future.
Calling Orchard Road home since 2011, the store across from Takashimaya has been a familiar sight for many.
However, the good news is that you can still download the A&F app and shop online, as the brand’s digital business continues as per normal.
Sad news for fans
This news comes as a shock for many, as the store also carries a sentimental value as a familiar sight on Orchard Road.
Be it for shopping or just soaking in the vibes – and vibes aplenty it’s got – fans will lose a dear spot.
It’s therefore saddening to think that it’ll go in 2 weeks’ time.
We hope that the situation will improve for the brand, and that they can hopefully brace through the pandemic.
RIP A&F. At least it managed to survive in Sinkieland's cutthroat retail industry for a whole decade.
First Robinsons went belly up, now Abercrombie & Fitch is following suit. Congratulations to the Orchard Road shopping belt for taking one giant stride toward becoming a desolate locality.
Perhaps this is A&F's karma for treating men as sex objects.
The founder of a local retail chain has finally spoken up about the sudden closure of his remaining physical store and monies owed to vendors.
Naiise founder Dennis Tay said last night that he was putting his business into liquidation and filing for bankruptcy, days after word got out that the 9,500 sq ft store at Jewel Changi Airport was closing for good amid thousands of dollars owed to multiple vendors, who were mostly homegrown brands.
“Unfortunately, I am now out of time and options. Today, I made the decision to put Naiise in liquidation. In short order, I will also be filing for personal bankruptcy,” Tay wrote online last night, adding that he had “exhausted” his savings and borrowed“heavily” from banks to repay creditors and save the business.
“As a business owner, the blame for Naiise’s demise is mine alone,” he wrote. “I’m sorry to the employees I let go. To those who are owed money, I am sorry I failed you all, and for all the inconvenience and distress this has caused. Apologies also to our marketplace sellers for shuttering operations so abruptly.”
Naiise, which launched in 2013, announced on Friday that it was closing its last physical store after two years of its opening. Its outlets at Orchard Gateway and Paya Lebar Quarter shopping malls already shut last year.
Several vendors who complained about not being paid included gaming company Capital Gains Studio, eco-friendly lifestyle brand Bamboo Straw Girl, retailer Freshly Pressed Socks, and cushion maker Nom Nom Plush.
“Promises made to repay has all been broken again and again and we had no choice but to pull our games out early last year,” Capital Gains Studio’s Lye Wen Song Xeo wrote on Saturday. “Till now, we haven’t received a single cent and our monthly email chasers are generally ignored.”
Lye did not mention how much was being owed to the company since 2018.
Debt collectors hired by perfume brand Bespoke Parfums Artisanaux also confronted Tay at the Jewel Changi Airport carpark on Friday, asking for the roughly S$10,000 owed.
Naiise is the latest retailer to be embroiled in such financial troubles. A similar incident happened to the Robinsons department store after it announced in October that it was shutting down.
If the allegations are true then this Dennis Tay is a scumbag through and through.
This couple is ugly both on the outside and inside.
@Fat White Knight Damn straight!
SINGAPORE — The commercial spaces on the ground floor of National Gallery Singapore formerly occupied by Gallery & Co have been temporarily taken up by retailer Abry and restaurant group Saveur.
Abry, a lifestyle and fashion retailer, runs the museum store, while Saveur manages the eatery.
The museum store, now known as The Gallery Store by Abry, opened on Nov 1. The Gallery Bistro started operations on Nov 6.
Up until July, debt-ridden Gallery & Co ran a cafe and gift shop there. This was before its parent By AndCo shut down and went into liquidation after the Covid-19 pandemic exacted a toll on its tourism-dependent business.
The firm, which had run Gallery & Co since 2015, had an estimated debt of S$500,000, TODAY reported in August.
While visitors have more retail and dining options with Abry and Saveur’s entry, they are temporary tenants. Abry’s lease is set to end in the first quarter of next year, while Saveur’s expires next January.
National Gallery Singapore told TODAY that it would issue a request for proposals for the long-term operation of the museum store and dining space by next month.
“We are still in the process of finalising the long-term business model and selection of the long-term partner for the Gallery store,” a spokesperson for the gallery said.
The spokesperson added that the museum store should offer a range of attractive museum and art-related merchandise and publications, and would be complemented by a casual, all-day dining option in the space beside it.
The spokesperson said that all interested parties, including Abry and Saveur, are welcome to submit their proposals, but declined to reveal the lease period.
Read more at https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/interim-tenants-take-over-national-gallery-spaces-vacated-debt-ridden-gallery-co
It seems like another establishment in Singapore has closed for good.
SuperPark, an indoor activity park in Suntec City, has closed down for good on Oct. 8.
In a report by The Straits Times, deputy chairman of APM Property Management, the property manager of Suntec City Anthony Yip said:
"We took possession of the SuperPark premises on Oct. 8 as the operator was not able to come up with a concrete plan to restart operations."
A report by The Business Times revealed that SuperPark's holding company SuperPark Asia Group has S$18 million in liabilities.
SuperPark also has branches in Hong Kong, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur.
According to SuperPark's Facebook page, the indoor park has been closed since April 1 "until further notice" due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Its latest Facebook post was shared in Aug. 2020, seeking new hires.
SuperPark opened in Suntec City on Nov. 2018.
It was the first outlet in Southeast Asia.
The 40,000 sq ft indoor park had 20 different activities split into three areas:
It's also game over for STA Travel......
Here's the hacked premium article already shared on Reddit and HWZ:
SINGAPORE - STA Travel, which had a strong presence in the universities here, is winding up, affecting as many as 682 customers who are listed as creditors for sums possibly going up to $84,088.
It stopped operating on Sept 9, after its parent company based in Switzerland filed for insolvency in August.
The potential creditors were listed in a notice issued last Thursday (Sept 24) by one of the appointed provisional liquidators from audit firm Deloitte and Touche, on behalf of STA Travel.
The smallest sum was $7. The biggest sum of $84,088 is said to be owed to an individual but the notice also lists organisations, including the National University of Singapore (NUS), Singapore Management University (SMU), the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and Republic Polytechnic.
Other listed organisations include the CPF Board, the Esplanade, the Singapore Scouts Association and Singtel.
The notice said creditors will still need to file proof of the debt said to be owed.
Among the 682 on the list is National University of Singapore (NUS) undergraduate Teoh Xin Yi, 22, who had received $917 in STA Travel vouchers after her flight to Japan was cancelled in April due to travel restrictions amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
She was headed there to continue her classes as part of her double degree programme with Tokyo's Waseda University.
Ms Teoh, a political science major who is now continuing her studies in NUS, said she is not hopeful about getting her money back. "The (Deloitte) notice did not provide any instructions or assurances on how we can be reimbursed."
The Straits Times understands that many university students who booked flights with the travel agency, such as for exchange programmes, were affected.
Before STA Travel was put into provisional liquidation, it had retail locations in NTU, NUS and SMU where students could book discounted flights and special travel deals such as the London Explorer tour and the Eurail pass.
STA Travel offices in other countries such as Australia and New Zealand have also been placed into liquidation.
In New Zealand, creditors - ranging from travel customers to employees - were owed NZ$11 million, news media site Stuff reported.
The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) told ST on Monday that STA Travel was one of 22 travel agents which stopped operations between Feb 1 and Monday, which is lower than the 40 cessations in the same period a year ago.
But STA Travel's case was the only one for the stipulated period this year to impact customers, the tourism board said.
More than half, or 15, of the 22 companies indicated that they ceased operations because of Covid-19, while the rest cited various reasons such as change in business focus and retirement, STB said.
A Deloitte spokesman told ST on Monday that the directors of STA Travel in Singapore "had to take the most responsible approach for all stakeholders by placing the company into provisional liquidation given the company's insolvent financial position".
All known creditors were notified last Thursday and those who have not received the notification can contact the provisional liquidators' office, the spokesman added.
This leaves them less than a week to complete the paperwork needed to exercise their voting rights as creditors at the first meeting of creditors to be held on Friday via Zoom.
Creditors will need to submit a proof of debt form by Wednesday noon, with supporting documents such as their invoices or payments made to STA Travel.
Mr Mohamad Azni, a 59-year-old sports trainer, told ST he is claiming $21,162 worth of Qantas Airways tickets for 37 members of his martial arts club who were headed to Melbourne, Australia, for a competition in April. The flights have since been cancelled.
"Most of my members are young children aged seven to 17 years who had saved up for more than one year to afford the air ticket which cost between $500 to $700," he said.
The Consumers Association of Singapore (Case) said it received 11 complaints against STA Travel between Jan 1 and Sunday.
Most of these complaints were made by consumers who wanted to cancel their flights due to Covid-19 but had to pay cancellation fees to STA Travel, or were only offered partial cash refunds, Case said in response to ST queries.
Some complained that the travel agency was not responding to requests for refunds of their air tickets or tour packages, while others alleged that STA Travel had not paid the airlines for tickets as their air tickets have become invalid.
WHAT CONSUMERS CAN DO
STB said that consumers who are not covered by travel insurance can approach Case or the Small Claims Tribunal, where appropriate.
Due to the unprecedented nature of Covid-19 which has impacted both businesses and consumers, Case encouraged affected consumers to first negotiate with the travel agency and work towards an amicable settlement.
"For cases in which both parties fail to reach an agreement, Case will guide consumers to file for a claim or relief with assessors appointed by the Ministry of Law, as provided for under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act," the association said.
It added that consumers who have purchased travel insurance before Covid-19 became a known event can contact their insurers to find out if they are eligible to make any claims.
@ Chan Brothers
Jialat, Crumpler's flagship store at Wheelock Place also going to uplorry soon!
After 17 years at Wheelock Place, the Crumpler store will be bidding adieu to its flagship location in Singapore.
The Australian brand, known for its signature messenger bags, is offering customers an additional 20 per cent off all existing sale items, till Aug 20.
But Crumpler fans don’t have to worry, the brand will still retain its presence in Singapore, with outlets at ION Orchard, Raffles City, Vivocity, Jem, Tangs and Takashimaya, as well as online.
Problem with their bags and products is that they are just too damn durable, hence there ain't any need to seek replacements.
Fret not, more fearless idiots are taking the plunge to replace those who have gone six feet under.
SINGAPORE — As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to put a severe strain on the Singapore economy, some businesses have crumbled. It is not all just shuttered storefronts, however, as new businesses have emerged to try to make their mark despite the tough times.
Some of the owners of these new businesses told TODAY that they had little choice but to open their doors as they had signed leases months prior to the pandemic.
But others said they started home-based businesses during the circuit breaker period, found success, and have chosen to expand to brick-and-mortar premises despite the challenging economic environment.
Tattoo artist Rothsman Hunter, 38, who opened barbershop 2 Tone Barbers along Haji Lane on Aug 1, said simply that he “just wanted to do it”.
Mr Rothsman had plans with two friends to open a barbershop late last year but they pulled out at the last minute and so the plan was put on hold.
“But in April, the thought just couldn’t leave my mind. It's always been a dream of mine to have my own barbershop. I knew I wanted to do it and my mind was made up, even if I had to do it on my own,” said Mr Rothsman.
In late June, when viewings for units resumed in Phase Two of the reopening of the economy, Mr Rothsman signed a lease and took over a 1,000 sq ft bridal parlour unit which had been recently vacated.
“So many units in Haji Lane were empty and I was asked by friends and family if I was sure about my decision to start a business now. But if not now, then when?
“And everyone always needs a haircut, right?” said Mr Rothsman, who did the renovation of the premises himself.
He added: “You see, as much as it is a business, I also wanted to open this barbershop to foster a sense of community and create a space for my friends who have become jobless because of the pandemic to hang out and learn a new skill. That’s what it’s about now.”
Read more at https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/covid-19-new-brick-and-mortar-businesses-pop-despite-uncertainties
Zoff @ Suntec City is the latest retail casualty.......
Sorry dude only heard of Dino Zoff.
After the closure, Ms Ho - whose parents are Mr Ho Kwon Ping and Ms Claire Chiang, founders of resort group Banyan Tree Holdings - will continue in her role as vice-president of brand development and strategy in the family business, doubling down on efforts to pivot in a post-Covid travel landscape.
Aiyah this gal is also a VP at her ultra rich parents' company, no need to pity her lah!
The pandemic has claimed its first big casualty in the local fashion scene.
Home-grown socially conscious clothing label Matter, founded in 2014, announced its impending closure in September via its social media channels on Monday.
In an e-mail to its followers, co-founder Ho Renyung said: "After several months of uncertainty, we've reached a decision that this chapter of our story is ending."
There had been plans to grow the brand abroad and expand into homeware and an online publication, Ms Ho, 34, told The Straits Times in an e-mail interview.
Matter had double-digit and, in some years, triple-digit growth year on year, thanks to loyal customers in more than 60 countries. It had hoped to diversify its market mix as most of its sales came from Singapore and the United States.
"Covid-19 has claimed many businesses that while healthy, do not have deep pockets in terms of cash flow," said Ms Ho.
"Our business model is such that much of our cash flow is tied up in inventory and inventory-in-making because we commit to a deposit of 50 per cent upfront to the artisans and the usual lead time for our products is six months.
"Although you could say being a digitally native brand we were well-positioned for Covid-19, I think the combination of cash-flow bottlenecks, supply-chain issues and soft demand for premium-priced apparel still led us here."
More at https://www.sgsme.sg/news/home-grown-fashion-label-matter-fold
Companies are shutting down everywhere........White Record Label at 28 Ann Siang Road also just uplorried.