Top Stories

Swee Keat: Embrace spirit of enterprise

THE government must know when to step in and when to step back, so as to avoid inadvertently undermining the natural workings of markets or the bonds of community, said Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat in his Budget Debate round-up speech on Wednesday.  To Mr Heng, in fact, it is not any scheme or government support that will sustain Singapore's future, but "the spirit of enterprise and caring".

Singapore Real Estate

AccorHotels, K Line, Bunge among new tenants at Guoco Tower

GUOCOLAND has announced some new tenants that it has clinched for Guoco Tower, the 890,000 square feet office component of its Tanjong Pagar Centre integrated mixed-use project that is nearing completion.  These include AccorHotels, which will relocate its Asia-Pacific headquarters to Guoco Tower from Raffles City Tower.  Other tenants signed up for Guoco Tower include Japanese transportation group K Line, global agribusiness and food company Bunge, and US-based human resource consulting firm ManpowerGroup.

SISV rejects computer-generated valuations

DISRUPTIVE technology may be shaking up the property valuations space, but the incumbents have sounded a note of caution to the use of computer-generated valuations.  The Singapore Institute of Surveyors and Valuers (SISV) on Wednesday stated categorically that it does not recognise these valuations.

"Such computer-generated values are not considered valuations (in accordance with SISV Valuation Standards and Practice Guidelines) and are therefore not recognised by the Institute," it said in a statement.

Tough retail scene exacts toll on shops and landlords

Two fashion brands will be exiting the challenging retail scene here.  Eight stores in various malls showcasing the British brand New Look and French menswear chain Celio will close in the second half of the year, said distributor Jay Gee Melwani Group.  Last week, Al-Futtaim Group said it will shut 10 loss-making outlets here under its distribution and retailing arm RSH later this year.  Competition from e-commerce, weak consumer spending and rising business costs have exacted a heavy toll on retailers. The weakening retail scene has also hit landlords, with vacancy rates in shopping malls rising.

Tangs goes for exclusivity as it refashions business

The new chief executive of Tangs has plans to navigate the department store through the choppy retail scene.  Mr Kevin Dyson, who was appointed to helm the store from April 1, plans to step up the game online as well as offer exclusive mechandise to set it apart from the "same-same" offerings in other malls, particularly in Orchard Road.  "It cannot be business as usual, particularly in the digital age, which isn't going away. We have to embrace change," Mr Dyson told The Straits Times in an exclusive interview this week.

77th Street founder turns to logistics amid retail shake-up

The entrepreneur who founded streetwear brand 77th Street is gunning to be "a big logistics player" with her latest venture.  Ms Elim Chew said she started her FastFast app last year to give retirees, people who had been retrenched or those in between jobs a way to earn some money.  The service, with four staff, has grown fast, raking up $75,000 in sales since its launch in September.  Users can access the app to arrange to have a package delivered within 90 minutes at an average cost of $16.

New Look, Celio to exit Singapore market

Two fashion brands will bow out of the challenging retail scene here before the year is out.  Eight stores in various malls showcasing the British brand New Look and French menswear chain Celio will close in the second half of the year, said distributor Jay Gee Melwani Group.  "The sales are not there and the costs are too high. We are consolidating and re-strategising which ones can work, which ones can't," Jay Gee Melwani Group managing director R Dhinakaran said.  The other brands Jay Gee distributes include Aldo, Levi's, Dockers, Aeropostale, Converse and health supplement chain Holland & Barrett. Affected staff will have the option of being redeployed to other stores in the group.

Property 2016 (Pg41-62)

Global Economy & Global Real Estate