Recently there seems to be a surge of retail chains closing down in Singapore, such as the recent case of California Fitness closing down suddenly, leaving its employees and customers surprised. A month ago, it was reported that 1 Market by Chef Wan at Plaza Singapura closed down after dwindling food standards by the chefs, and 77th Street is to close by end July. Even bigger and established retail chains are having closing down sales and they too are unable to survive in this economic climate.
For business owners-to-be who thinks that starting a retail business is a good alternative, consider the few factors that are killing retail businesses here first:
- Increasing rental in retail space
- Lack of talent
- Lazy consumers who prefer to shop online thus reduces traffic to stores
- Consumers are spoilt for choice with so many options, it is difficult to have loyal customers these days
- The purchasing funnel for new-age consumers have changed, which includes researching, comparing and reviewing products and services before deciding on one. It's either you have brand ambassadors or saboteurs, and it's not easy to make customers happy these days
- It is not a huge market in Singapore, so be strategic about the location of your offerings, you need sufficient traffic to convert enough customers
So do consider these factors carefully and evaluate if this is the best option you have before starting a retail business here. Plan your strategies carefully and not follow blindly just because you see there are streams of customers at a retail store, doesn't mean they are making great margins.
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Renee Tan the writer, is a consultant and trainer for corporate organisations and educational institutions who specialises in the following: 21st Century Skills, Personal Mastery & Peak Performance, Communication Skills, Innovative Thinking, Entrepreneurship, Design Thinking, Personal Branding, Problem Solving & Decision Making, Service Excellence, Effective Networking, Public Speaking & Presentations, Team-Building & Cohesion, TetraMap®, Profiling, Career Guidance, Interview Skills, Sales Techniques, Negotiation Skills, and Brain-Based Learning.
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