10 Brands That Opened New Outlets During COVID-19
Covid-19 has created a yawning hole in Singapore’s retail sector as stores see drop in footfall and revenue with more people shopping online from home.
This has resulted in store closings and a series of bankruptcies of major brands such as Sportslink, MUJI and GNC.
Expansion is the last thing on their plans as they are busy trying to keep their existing outlets afloat. However, this is not the case for those brands which have increased their commercial presence here.
From catering to fashion, these brands continue to grow by adding more outlets to their arsenal.
The American burger chain Five Guys is opening its second outlet in the heart of the Nex shopping center in Serangoon by 2021.
They are known for their customizable burgers, starting at S $ 11, with unlimited toppings.
The burgers are served with hand-cut potato fries and milkshakes where you can add up to 11 toppings.
It first opened its flagship store in Plaza Singapore last year, with winding lines.
American fine-casual hamburger chain Shake Shack has announced that it will open its fourth outlet in Suntec City on September 30.
They are known for their gourmet burgers, hot dogs, crumpled fries and milkshakes.
Their third outlet at Liat Towers opened on August 5th. The chain opened a second outlet on Neil Road in February this year, after setting up its first Singapore outpost at Jewel Changi Airport last year.
This month, iPhone maker Apple launched its latest outlet at Marina Bay Sands – their most ambitious retail project yet – and it sits right on the water.
In the shape of a sphere, Apple’s third retail store in Singapore floats on the iridescent Marina Bay.
It is also the world’s first floating Apple Store and allows customers to enjoy panoramic views of the Singapore skyline.
Other Apple outlets are located on Orchard Road and at Jewel Changi Airport.
Earlier this month, local fashion clothing brand Love, Bonito opened its latest and fourth outlet in VivoCity.
The new 4,300 square foot store is their second largest after their Funan store and is designed for families.
The store boasts of kid-friendly features and the aisles are designed with more space for prams between the clothing shelves.
Love, Bonito started out as an e-commerce store before venturing into brick and mortar and launching his flagship store in Orchard.
Bean in butter
BreadTalk’s new coffee concept, Butter Bean, has recently entered the F&B industry.
It is the most modern and fresh take on the contemporary Toast Box coffee chain. It also marks parent company BreadTalk Group’s foray into the coffee shop scene.
Its first outlet at Funan Mall opened on August 28, with the second outlet on September 10 at VivoCity.
It sells thick raised toast, Korean-inspired sandwiches, and improved Nanyang coffee.
Kenny Rogers Roasters
Kenny Rogers Roasters is famous for their Rotisserie Roast Chicken and Kenny’s Nasi Lemak.
The chicken restaurant chain closed all of its Singapore stores in April of last year.
A few days later, the local restaurant company Lao Huo Tang Group resumed its franchise rights and reopened its first outlet in Jem that same year.
Last week (August 29), Kenny Rogers Roasters announced the opening of a second outlet in Century Square, where it once was located.
French sporting goods retailer Decathlon has opened its fifth experience store, Decathlon Orchard, at Centrepoint shopping center.
The retail outlet spans two floors and six units, occupying an area of 3200 m². The store will feature some 5,000 products covering more than 50 sports.
It also replaces Metro as Centrepoint’s main tenant and has other outlets in various locations, from Joo Koon to City Square.
It was reported that while the overall number of retailers in Singapore was down nearly 9% in July, Decathlon saw a 38% increase in sales. Its online sales in July also increased by more than 300%.
Furniture and electronics giant Harvey Norman will soon add three new stores to its current number of 12.
Among its new stores is the 9,100 square foot Seletar Mall branch which opened on September 15.
They also opened a 32,000 square foot Superstore at Centrepoint on September 22, with four departments – electrical, computers, furniture, and bedding.
It will also launch a 16,000 square foot store in Westgate at the end of the year.
Footwear brand Skechers has opened five new stores in Singapore since July, and one of the five new outlets is in Suntec City.
This brings the number of their stores to 30 and they have employed an additional 40 people to fill them.
The brand embodies style, innovation, comfort and quality and also offers versatile designs for different purposes.
Last July, it opened a new branded experience store at Singapore’s Jewel Changi Airport, serving as Southeast Asia’s largest store to date.
Thai online fast fashion retailer Pomelo has a flagship store located at 313 @ Somerset in Singapore.
In recent months, it has opened more stores in Thailand, and the company has announced that it will enter Indonesia and Malaysia soon.
As part of its business expansion in Southeast Asia, it will also open a second store at the Nex Mall in Singapore in November.
Retail is not dead
The latest victim is British fashion retailer Topshop, which has closed its last physical store in Singapore and gone fully online.
However, with more brands coming out, there are more great locations available now.
This presents an opportunity for existing players to reclaim attractive retail units that have been released, and with the retail crisis, mall operators are more open to negotiations over rental fees.
Retail rents are expected to decline 4-14% for 2020 as a whole.
While many retailers struggle to remain commercially viable during the Covid-19 crisis, this could be a good time to expand.
Featured Image Credit: Danielfooddiary / Apple / Love, Bonito / Pomelo / Harvey Norman
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