Covid-19 has created a void in Singapore's retail sector as stores drive fewer pedestrians and revenue, and more people shop online from home.
This resulted in store closures and a number of bankruptcies from major brands such as Sportslink, MUJI and GNC.
Expansion is the last thing they plan on as they are busy keeping their existing outlets alive. However, this is not the case with these brands that have expanded their retail presence here.
From F&B to fashion, these brands continue to expand by adding more outlets to their arsenal.
Photo credit: Danielfooddiary
The American burger chain Five Guys will open its second branch in the heart of the Nex shopping center in Serangoon by 2021.
They are known for their customizable burgers, which start at S $ 11 with unlimited toppings.
The burgers are paired with hand-cut potato fries and milkshakes where you can add up to 11 toppings.
Last year the flagship opened for queues for the first time in Plaza Singapura.
Photo credit: Shake Shack Singapore
The American burger chain Shake Shack has announced that it will open its fourth branch in Suntec City on September 30th.
They are known for their gourmet hamburgers, hot dogs, french fries, and milkshakes.
Their third store in Liat Towers opened on August 5th. The chain opened a second branch on Neil Road in February of this year, after setting up its first Singapore outpost at Jewel Changi Airport last year.
Photo credit: Apple
This month, iPhone maker Apple launched its newest outlet in Marina Bay Sands – the most ambitious retail project to date – and it's right on the water.
Apple's third retail store in Singapore is shaped like a sphere and floats in dazzling Marina Bay.
It's also the world's first floating Apple Store and offers customers panoramic views of the Singapore skyline.
Additional Apple branches are located on Orchard Road and at Jewel Changi Airport.
Lots of love, Bonito
Photo credit: love, bonito
Earlier this month, local fashion clothing brand Love, Bonito, opened its newest and fourth store at VivoCity.
The new 400 square meter store is the second largest after the Funan store and is designed for families.
The store has kid-friendly features and the aisles have more space for strollers between the clothes racks.
Lots of love, Bonito started out as an e-commerce business before venturing into brick and mortar retailing and opening its flagship store in Orchard.
Photo credit: Greatdeals.com.sg
BreadTalk's new cafe concept, Butter Bean, recently entered the F&B industry.
It's the more modern version and cooler sibling of the modern coffee chain Toast Box. This also marks the entry of the parent company BreadTalk Group into the café scene.
The first branch in Funan Mall opened on August 28th, the second on September 10th in VivoCity.
It sells raised thick toasts, Korean-inspired sandwiches, and upgraded Nanyang coffee.
Kenny Rogers Roaster
Photo credit: Kenny Rogers Roasters via Facebook
Kenny Rogers Roasters is famous for its fried chicken and Kenny's Nasi Lemak.
The chicken restaurant chain closed all stores in Singapore in April last year.
Days later, the local F&B company Lao Huo Tang Group took over its franchise rights and opened its first store in Jem that same year.
Last week (August 29), Kenny Rogers Roasters announced the opening of a second outlet in Century Square, where it was once located.
Image credit: decathlon
The French sporting goods retailer Decathlon opened its fifth adventure store, Decathlon Orchard, in The Centrepoint shopping center.
The retail store extends over two floors and six units and extends over an area of 3200 m². The store will offer around 5000 products from more than 50 sports.
It also replaces Metro as the anchor tenant of The Centrepoint and has additional branches in various locations from Joo Koon to City Square.
It was reported that while Singapore retail sales fell nearly nine percent overall in July, Decathlon saw sales jump 38 percent. Online sales in July also rose by more than 300 percent.
Photo credit: Harvey Norman
Furniture and electronics company Harvey Norman will soon add three new stores to its current number of 12.
New stores include the 9,100-square-foot Seletar Mall, which opened on September 15.
On September 22nd, they opened a 32,000 square meter superstore with four departments at The Centrepoint – electronics, computers, furniture and bed linen.
A 16,000 m² store will open in Westgate at the end of the year.
Image Credit: Skechers
Shoe brand Skechers has opened five new stores in Singapore since July, and one of the five new retail stores is in Suntec City.
This brings the number of branches to 30 and they have hired 40 additional people to manage them.
The brand embodies style, innovation, comfort and quality and offers versatile designs for different purposes.
In July of last year, a new branded experience store opened at Jewel Changi Airport in Singapore, which serves as the largest store in Southeast Asia to date.
Image credit: grapefruit
The Thai online fast fashion retailer Pomelo has a flagship store at 313 @ Somerset in Singapore.
More stores have opened in Thailand in the past few months, and the company announced that it will head to Indonesia and Malaysia next.
As part of the expansion of Southeast Asian retail, a second store will open in Singapore's Nex Mall in November.
Retail is not dead
The latest victim is British fashion retailer Topshop, which closed its last physical store in Singapore and went fully online.
However, as more brands leave the market, there are now more good locations available.
This gives existing players an opportunity to acquire attractive retail units that have been vacated and, given the retail slump, malls operators are more open to negotiating rental fees.
Retail rents are expected to decrease by four to 14 percent for the full year 2020.
While many retailers are struggling to remain economically viable during the Covid-19 crisis, this could be a good time to expand.
Selected image source: Danielfooddiary / Apple / Love, Bonito / Pomelo / Harvey Norman