, Singapore

Survival of the fittest: Small retailers bow out as costs soar and sales plunge

Malls will soon be dominated by global brands.

Small brands will be the first to bow out of Singapore's incredibly cutthroat retail scene, as costs continue to soar while sales steadily plunge.

According to a report by Colliers, steadily declining tourist volumes and weak retail sales are exacerbating an already-highly challenging trading environment, and small brands may well be unable to fend for themselves in such an atmosphere.

Traditional brick-and-mortar retailers are also struggling as their online competitors clinch larger market shares. Tighter foreign worker policies and the labor crunch are only adding to retailers' woes.

“These difficulties are inherently more acute for smaller brands, and these would be among the first casualties to exit the retail industry. Given the Darwinian survival-of-the-fittest nature of the retail sector, shopping malls might evolve to be primarily occupied and dominated by the stronger and larger brands – in the likes of fast-fashion houses of Uniqlo and H&M,” said Calvin Yeo, Deputy Managing Director of Colliers International. 

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