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5 Quotes From Retail Companies That Describe How Singapore’s Retail Scene May Never Be the Same Again (And 1 Final Word)

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. From Isetan (Singapore) Ltd’s (SGX: I15) annual report: Not a passing fad, but a change for good head here

2. From Hour Glass Ltd’s (SGX: AGS) annual report: Going beyond traditional business models head here

3. From Metro Holdings Limited’s (SGX: M01) annual report: “Bricks and clicks” head here

4. From Challenger Technologies Limited’s (SGX: 573) annual report: The benefits of the omni-channel approach head here

5. The downside of online shopping

There are benefits to the omni-channel approach, but there are downsides too. For one, putting your products online invites competition at a global scale, whether you choose it or not.

Hour Glass’s chairman, Henry Tay, explains:

“Lastly, every luxury consumer today is a global shopper. And as technology continues to discombobulate shopping in the form of online category killer classifieds, online marketplaces and price comparison apps offering enhanced object recognition software, we believe that brands will trend towards ensuring that there is less retail pricing dissonance globally and advance towards a higher degree of pricing parity between markets.”

In essence, domestic retailers cannot see Singapore as the only market available. If a larger, more competitive online retailer is able to make inroads into Singapore, the retailers here will be drawn into global competition whether it likes it or not.

6. The final word

The title of this article is about how Singapore’s retail scene may never be the same again.

But the thing is, it is likely that the retail landscape in Singapore will continue to evolve. There is no end-point to the changes. In other words, simply changing to say, an omni-channel approach will not be the final stop for Singapore’s retailers.

As investors, we will have to observe whether Singapore’s retailers will continue to accept the changes that are happening in front of them and adapt accordingly.

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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.