4 Retail Companies Vividly Describe How Singapore’s Retail Scene Might Never Be The Same Again

Singapore’s retail scene may never be the same again.

It is not a secret that retailers in Singapore have been facing a tougher time over the past few years. There might be several reasons for this. To find out more details, I took time recently to dip into the annual reports of major retailers in Singapore. I wanted to figure out what the retail scene in Singapore looks like from the eyes of the major players.

What I found were some vivid descriptions on the challenges that retailers face.

1. Not a passing fad, but a change for good head here

2. Going beyond traditional business models head here

3. “Bricks and clicks”

In the second point, I shared how retailers needed to move beyond the traditional bricks-and-mortar store model. Several retailers in Singapore have started to change in response to the shifting landscape.

Metro Holdings Limited (SGX: M01), which runs departmental stores in Singapore and other property-related businesses in other parts of Asia, is one of the businesses opting for change:

“Metro has adopted an omni-channel approach to provide seamless purchases by providing not just an offline brick-and-mortar shopping experience, but also the experience of an online shopping store.

To further support this, Metro’s business analytics team was established to gain insights into its customers’ buying behaviours.”

Changing from an offline model to an offline-and-online model (often referred to as “bricks and clicks”) involves more than just putting up an online website. Here, Metro is looking for better insight into its customers’ buying behaviour.

4. The benefits of an omni-channel approach

Another retailer that is trying to change with the times is Challenger Technologies Limited (SGX: 573).

The IT products retailer set up its online ordering website,, last April. Challenger Technologies’ chief executive, Loo Leong Thye, said the following in the company’s latest annual report:

“Complemented by our larger network of physical retail stores in Singapore, combines the largest range of IT products available online with the convenience of delivery or pick-up in store for time-strapped customers looking for the latest tech lifestyle products.”

Running a “bricks and clicks” model has some advantages. Retailers can take full advantage of the benefits of having offline physical stores as well as an online ordering site. The former can be used as pick-up points for orders while the latter can be a means to offer a larger variety of products to customers.

Note: A fifth point of discussion on Singapore's retail scene by retail companies has since been published. You can find it here.

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The information provided is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be personalised investment or financial advice. Motley Fool Singapore contributor Chin Hui Leong doesn’t own shares in any companies mentioned.