Business / Corporate

Tough online competition forces Isetan Mitsukoshi to shutter one of its Singapore outlets

Nna/kyodo

Leading department store operator Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings Ltd. will shut one of its five outlets in Singapore due to tough competition from online retailers.

Its local subsidiary, Isetan (Singapore) Ltd., said Monday it will not renew its lease with JB Trustee Pte., landlord of the Isetan Jurong East store in the western part of the city-state.

The decision is “part of the company’s ongoing exercise of continuous assessment, realignment and consolidation of its operations to enable better deployment of existing resources among its other business units,” Isetan said in a statement.

The lease agreement with the landlord runs through Dec. 22, but the closing date is not confirmed, a local unit spokesman told NNA.

Isetan Mitsukoshi’s Singaporean arm operates four other stores in the country — Scotts in the central district, Tampines and Katong in the east and Serangoon Central in the northeast.

It said in a financial statement that sales have declined in recent years, recording 121 million Singapore dollars ($88.8 million) in 2018, only about a third of 2014 sales, and booking a net loss of $SG13.7 million.

“We recognize that the changing retail landscape and disruptions caused by e-commerce will erode our competitiveness,” Isetan (Singapore) Chairman Toshihiko Nakagome said in a statement in March.

The local arm said in April it plans to invest SG$12 million to renovate Isetan Scotts, its flagship outlet, from around the middle of this year for scheduled completion in 2020, converting it into “a lifestyle destination store” as part of a long-term turnaround plan.

Isetan (Singapore) also said it refurbished its Tampines and Katong outlets from 2017 through 2018.