The Covid-19 pandemic was a devastating event for many companies. Bans and safe distancing measures have resulted in a significant drop in customer footfall, which has resulted in lower profits.
Last year, Singaporeans saw many popular brands leave our shores or shut down for good. For example, one of Singapore's oldest department stores, Robinsons, has closed its stores across the island.
In addition, British fashion brands Topshop and Topman's brand manager Wing Tai Retail confirmed the closure of their last outlet at VivoCity in September last year.
Most recently, the multi-label Singapore retailer closed its last and largest store at Jewel Changi Airport last Sunday as it continued to struggle to pay its suppliers.
The latest brand to join the numerous closures is the American leisure brand Abercrombie & Fitch (A&F). It was announced on Instagram that its only physical store in Singapore will be closing from May 2nd.
However, neither the reason for the closure nor whether there would be any sales was given.
Photo credit: A & F.
A & F is a traditional American brand that was founded in 1892 as an outdoor and hunting business. It debuted in Singapore in 2011, where it caused a stir with its topless models.
According to Statista, the clothing brand peaked in 2015 with 379 stores worldwide. However, as of 2020, it had 238 stores.
Photo credit: New York Post
In March 2020, the brand announced its decision to close all stores in North America and Europe, citing the move in response to the spread of Covid-19.
Fans of the brand can still download the mobile app and shop online, signaling the brand's move to focus more on the digital realm.
The customer has changed so dramatically that we won't need these big deals in the long term, ”said Scott Lipesky, Abercrombie's chief financial officer, last year.
The pandemic has highlighted the opportunities and limitations of the e-commerce sector. Retailers have recognized that digitization is one of the best ways to reach their customer base. Hence, many have developed an e-commerce strategy.
Selected image source: Orchard Road