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2 Quotes That Vividly Describe How Singapore’s Retail 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 of the challenges that retailers face.

1. The shift to online shopping continues

Here’s how Frasers Centrepoint Trust (SGX: J69U), a retail-based real estate investment trust, described the retail landscape in its annual report for the fiscal year ended 30 September 2016:

“According to MasterCard in September 2015, $303.5 million was spent online by Singapore cardholders during the Great Singapore Sale (GSS) 2015, a growth of 5.6% while e-commerce transactions increased faster by 9.8%.”

The shift to online shopping has not been a short-term fad, but rather, a long-term trend. The change is expected to continue.

2. Few retail segments will be left untouched

Isetan Singapore Ltd (SGX: I15) believes that the online shopping trend will leave few brick and mortar stores untouched:

“The retail sector has been affected by many online operators that compete directly with brick and mortar stores and offer goods ranging from food and produce to fashion items.”

Whether it is food or fashion, retailers will have to the face the threat of online shopping. But it gets worst. Isetan also noted:

“The competition in this segment is set to intensify as the big online retailers like Amazon have set up operations and are competing in our market.”  

The entry of online shopping giant Amazon.com is expected to intensify retail competition. The US-based online retailer is offering two-hour delivery times, setting a high bar for all other retailers to meet.

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The information provided is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be personalised investment or financial advice.The Motley Fool Singapore has recommended shares of Amazon.com. Motley Fool Singapore contributor Chin Hui Leong owns units in Frasers Centrepoint Trust and Amazon.com.