Why I disagree with Josephine Teo’s assessment on the retail industry

I disagree with Josephine Teo’s comments that the retail industry in Singapore is far from being a sunset industry.

Worldwide, the X’mas season is usually a busy time for the retail trades and also a time when companies employ more part-time staff to help cope with the expected business increase. In Singapore, our retail industry is another sick man under this useless PAP government.

Apart from the brightly lighted buildings at Orchard in the evening, at least 80% of the people who go to Orchard nowadays go back empty handed (i.e. they don’t carry any shopping bags). When I look at Takashimaya Shopping Centre, I could hardly see anybody inside, not even any moving shadows.

Statistics corroborate this. In October, the retail sales was down by 4.3% and this marked a ninth month quarter of decline as consumers are moving online instead. Whether the government cares to admit or not, high rental and high cost of doing business in Singapore is killing a lot of our retail businesses.

Over the years, we have seen so many retail companies in Singapore either call it a day or scale down their operations. The latest casualty among them is Home fix. From the Metro flagshop store at Centrepoint to Times, MPH, Kinokuniya, there are no shortage of examples.

If our citizens are willing to be brutally honest with themselves, many people must realise by now that although the PAP government is creating new jobs, most of them will go to foreigners. The PAP is unable to create suitable, decent and good paying jobs for Singaporeans.

Our citizens badly need to be more street-wise for their own sake.

 

Simon Lim

 

 

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38 Responses to “Why I disagree with Josephine Teo’s assessment on the retail industry”

  • this is what we do:

    when we see a nice pair of branded shoes in Internet, we go to the shop downtown, try on for size, then back to our laptop and place order.

    when we see a nice branded dress or shirt or trousers in Internet, we go to the shop downtown, try on for size, then back to our laptop and place order.

    what is the difference?

    price. price in downtown shops include rental for properties which give no value to any buyer but only S$ to the property owners.

    we prefer to buy via Internet. because no need to pay rental for properties, the same piece of merchandise is so much cheaper and buying from Internet provides Grab drivers and Grab deliverers an income so that they can pay their children’s S$156 school fees.

    money usefully spent when buying from Internet. cheaper. and helps 70% sheep in Grab driving and Grab delivering. all happy.

    only unhappy, probably, are the pap clan members who own the retail properties. too bad. it is not our job to enrich these pap property owners parasites.

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  • Flabbergasted:

    @Simon
    Totally agree with your observations to get Singaporean to get off their arse and wake up to reality. To be street smart is to know your rights and be politically aware. Our Ah Sims and Ah Mahs including some Ah Peks are the main cause for the vote disparity. Not only are they incompetent to their political rights. They cause the landslide victory for the ruling party. Us the sons and daughters of them who have had formal education need to do our part in educating them on the need to cast their votes correctly. Take all the gifts and hampers or parcels that the ruling parties grassroots give to them, say thank you for the gifts but do not listen to their advice and do not vote for the PAP. If many of us do our part thats alot of votes that will go to the opposition. So lets start the ball rolling and do our part in educating them.

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  • John Richards:

    It’s all about the glitz on the outside to conceal what lies within. We have become a country of soulless people too busy to notice that change has overtaken the PAP, and the rest of by default.

    If you’ve read the book ‘Who Moved My Cheese?’ by Spencer Johnson, you’ll understand why our retail industry is in big trouble. The book illustrates it in a very simple way to show how to deal with change at work and in your life. You can find an animated version of the book on Youtube. Watch it, it’s only 11 minutes long.

    The lesson for us is recognising that large chunks of cheese are being moved out of Singapore. But the PAP is busy bringing in more mice, hundreds of thousands of them, to compete with Singaporeans for what’s left of the rapidly dwindling cheese.

    Are you woke yet?

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  • SG back to 3rd world under 4G:

    Already I’m surprised many things that Msia has in their malls can’t be found in spore.

    People go online to shop only because they can easily compare prices and go for the cheaper ones. In fact, if there’s a choice, people would still prefer to see the physical stuff before buying especially for clothing, most would prefer to try them on before deciding to buy or not.

    Akan datang singaporeans will have to travel out of sg to shop for what we want like what 3rd countries citizens are doing.

    From a 3rd world to the 1st world soon back to where we once were.

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  • Softbank boss says:

    “People usually compare the computer to the head of the human being. I would say that hardware is the bone of the head, the skull. The semiconductor is the brain within the head. The software is the wisdom. And data is the knowledge.”

    - Masayoshi Son

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  • FTs are not buying too:

    The many FTs brought in from third world don’t do much shopping too bcos many are not paid first world salary.

    With more shops closing, sg will become less attractive for shopping as tourists come here for retailers not found in their own countries.

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  • Is foreigners spending n where:

    Is foreigners spending n where ?

    Which area are they spending ? Is there survey or data statistics?

    Personal observations e.g. prcs.
    Mobile phones plus mobile services e.g. internet subscriptions plus data.

    Food wise i observe either they cook themselves or maggi mee or patronise their own china stalls e.g. 麻辣火鍋. Local delicacies e.g. top 5 chicken rice,…not interested. Drinking also they patronise their homemade 燕京 which some singaporean friends commented its the worst beer.
    So supermarkets / wet market still vibrant. I notice fruits they are very willing to spend.

    Health stuff they also willing to spend.

    Education or taking courses they also willing to spend.

    Rental or housing. No choice or they feel worthwhile , they spend.
    Transport no choice everybody have to spend.

    Other than that i dont see any real uplift of biz from foreigners. CNY stuff is nothing compared to China snacks. Even Taiwan people working here only for 2 years whom i met also complain CNY stuff every year the same. See already also sian.

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  • Shop Online:

    My friend’s daughter will search online for brand name dresses and then visit its retail outlet to try for fit before ordering them online because they are cheaper! Why pay more?

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  • Softbank boss not a dropout:

    Softbank boss not a dropout.

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  • patriot of TUMASIK:

    Why oh WHY you sheeple and IDIOTS still believe the Bastard’s ILLUSION…you PAY & PAY for the ILLUSION while they go laughing to the BANK!!!

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  • Popular So Unpopular:

    Bookstores close because of the internet rather than high rental. Agree with you that chains like Sasa is pulling out because of rental.

    Department stores sell mostly expensive fashion. People easily circumvent this by going to fsat fashion retailers.

    That’s why Robinsons must give free iphone with $8000 spend. Otherwise it will be quiet like Takashimaya.

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  • Popular So Unpopular:

    Notice Popular more like Harvey Norman nowadays?

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  • BHG = Bring Home Goondus:

    Compare Price.

    Panadaol: $8 to $10 in Spore. RM5 to RM7 Malaysia

    Elderly Milk Powder: Spoe $40++. Malysia RM90.

    Renoma Underwear: Spore $20.90 for a box of two. Msia RM 39.90 Box of two. Somemore got more designs to choose from. Agent in Spore don’t want to bring in certain designs. Now dept stores like Metro, isetan only sell boring plain underwear – another reason not to go there.

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  • justanothercitizen:

    Government don’t create jobs, the government only employ civil servants as and when needed.
    Businesses create jobs. And the job of government is to enable an environment conducive for businesses to thrive (eg free trade, taxation, rule of law). And also to make sure that workers are not being taken advantage of by employers.
    If you believe a government that say they have created jobs for the country, you are naive.
    When a government starts to do business, there will sooner or later be trouble. There will be conflict of interest and corruption issues, just to name two.

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  • You illegal download books:

    @ Popular so unpopular

    You illegal download books , tio boh?!

    Friend you know what u are doing , just keep to yourself. Yet u still publicise , instilling people the wrong value. Quoting wrong examples to justify your wrong.

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  • Hum Liao Lah:

    The last comment “although the PAP government is creating new jobs, most of them will go to foreigners” needs to be critically evaluated, lest it is viewed as Singaporeans not being up to the tasks. I think it boils down to not having long range views, being reactive and simply incompetency on the ministars’ part. Good example would be the biotechnology craze a decade ago. They just pour in billions to build grand looking high-tech building in One North and used funds to attract big names people to set-up shop there. In the end cannot sustain and it all fizzles out. Repeating the same vein, they are just following trends in other places, eg building innovation districts in Jurong, pouring taxpayers monies into the ‘latest and greatest’ glamorous ideas they came across and bringing in FTs who are only too happy to spin tales of their credentials for the undeserved high-pay the stupid gahmen dishes out. This little red dot is today in such a mess.

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  • Dishonorable will cheat:

    Joseph Teo
    PLEASE RESIGN!

    I HAVE NO CONFIDENCE IN YOUR ABILITIES.
    And that is an understatement.

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  • orchard road is all hype:

    we don’t buy from stores if it is available in the Internet.

    but we do visit mails to try out things before buying in the Internet.

    however, due to too many aliens in small country, we have not visited any mall in orchard road, or even pass by orchard for over a decade.

    pap is utterly mad. filling the small country with 3rd world ceca ah nehs can improve the small country we cut our cocks.

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  • NotMyProblem:

    BHG = Bring Home Goondus:
    Compare Price.

    Panadaol: $8 to $10 in Spore. RM5 to RM7 Malaysia

    Elderly Milk Powder: Spoe $40++. Malysia RM90.

    Renoma Underwear: Spore $20.90 for a box of two. Msia RM 39.90 Box of two. ……

    We have Singaporeans saying S$1=RM3 is good for Singapore. Just like to ask what can you buy with S$1 in Singapore and what can you buy with RM3 in Malaysia.

    Imagine how many million S$ is taken back to Malaysia each day. Those Malaysians don’t even spend money in Singapore when they come to SG to work. They brought cigarette from JB. They brought their breakfast and lunch from JB before coming into SG. Do you think they would spend anything in our SG malls?

    Indonesian, Pinoy, Myanmar and PRC only go to SG shopping centres for air-condition and buy nothing. CECA Indians only visit Little India.

    Malls depend largely on Singaporeans but Singaporeans are out of job.

    So retailers in SG have to close shop, unable to pay for the high rental!

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  • Bad shape:

    Retail here is in bad shape.
    Need to do something drastic to turn the situation.
    For one ,please cut down the rental costs.

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  • Why Pay More ?:

    My family and I have been buying all our things from JB, Malacca or Batam Island for more than 15 years. Why be stupid to pay more in Singapore and make the shop owners rich ?

    Most of these rich shop owners are either from the PAP or their Por Lan Pahs.

    You play me out and I will play you out. Who cares if Singapore loses as the PAP doesn’t care anymore.

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  • Retail problem:

    The biggest problem is the shrinking of the middle class here.
    Less spending power means less retail business.
    Need to improve the middle class ..create more higher paying jobs for our Citizens.

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  • Lets be fair:

    @ Retail problem

    True.

    Plus costs rises too fast versus income increment.

    Income only 1. And costs is several.

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  • believe pap lky die fast fast:

    Why Pay More ?:
    My family and I have been buying all our things from JB, Malacca or Batam Island for more than 15 years. Why be stupid to pay more in Singapore and make the shop owners rich ?

    Most of these rich shop owners are either from the PAP or their Por Lan Pahs.

    You play me out and I will play you out. Who cares if Singapore loses as the PAP doesn’t care anymore.

    well said, bro.

    we do the same. unless no choice, such as urgent or one off, we try not to buy local.

    because the extra S$ paid do not go into value but are wasted in paying rental to pap fat cats and their cahoots.

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  • believe pap lky die fast fast:

    one day we saw this nice pair of shoes.

    as usual we have no intention of buying local but checked out shoes physically, prices and such.

    then when back at home went online.

    wow. the shoes in local shop priced at over S$300 and the same, now bought via Internet, are at S$60+ inclusive of expedited shipping.

    no joke. not imitation copies. genuine macCoy. at 80% discount when bought from a non local shop.

    of course the only hiccup is delay, needed to wait over a week even with expedited shipping. but the savings are huge, savings that otherwise would have lined pap fat cats and their cahoots.

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  • Popular So Unpopular:

    No need to download. Plenty to read online. Last time people photocopy books and if you read the stuff inside, it’s illegal to photocopy and lend your books to friends.

    So many schools photocopy.

    You illegal download books:
    @ Popular so unpopular

    You illegal download books , tio boh?!

    Friend you know what u are doing , just keep to yourself. Yet u still publicise , instilling people the wrong value. Quoting wrong examples to justify your wrong.

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  • BHG = Bring Home Goondus:

    As you say NotMyProblem.

    Those foreigners probably find our prices expensive, no choice then buy here.

    SBS Transit don’t want to ply more service 170 to JB. People normaly have to wait long long for 170.

    If you pay for $10 packet Panadol at Watsons, you are supporting Temasek. Temasek has shares in Watsons and owns lots of malls here.

    NotMyProblem: We have Singaporeans saying S$1=RM3 is good for Singapore. Just like to ask what can you buy with S$1 in Singapore and what can you buy with RM3 in Malaysia.

    Imagine how many million S$ is taken back to Malaysia each day. Those Malaysians don’t even spend money in Singapore when they come to SG to work. They brought cigarette from JB. They brought their breakfast and lunch from JB before coming into SG. Do you think they would spend anything in our SG malls?

    Indonesian, Pinoy, Myanmar and PRC only go to SG shopping centres for air-condition and buy nothing. CECA Indians only visit Little India.

    Malls depend largely on Singaporeans but Singaporeans are out of job.

    So retailers in SG have to close shop, unable to pay for the high rental!

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  • Coming Retail Apocalypse:

    S’pore Bricks ‘N Mortar Malls are impressive. But it hides one important fact, consumption & purchasing power in S’pore are extremely weak. If you observed the retail scene long enough, you find that very few retail shops actually make money after deducting their costs. The tenants instead make money for their landlords especially the REITs.
    Retailing in S’pore are highly unproductive with too many sales people generating too few sales with high rentals eating up their profits. Most of the anchor tenants & key retail players belong to the crony capitalist circle.
    The rest are musical chair retailing concepts that come & go like the wind. The current trend is the Brown Sugar Boba Bubble Tea craze which has many players in the game. In another 1-2 years, a number of them would be history! How many retailing concepts have S’poreans seen over a lifetime; Portuguese Egg Tart, Kopi Roti, Cupcakes, Apple Strudel, etc. All these came & went without leaving any legacy.

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  • BHG = Bring Home Goondus:

    It was true during the 1970s that tenants make enough to pay rental but did not profit. Made even worse today.

    Seoul Garden buffet, KFC, McDonalds are cheaper in Malaysia. And that’sBEFORE conversion.

    Coming Retail Apocalypse:

    Coming Retail Apocalypse:
    S’pore Bricks ‘N Mortar Malls are impressive. But it hides one important fact, consumption & purchasing power in S’pore are extremely weak. If you observed the retail scene long enough, you find that very few retail shops actually make money after deducting their costs. The tenants instead make money for their landlords especially the REITs.
    Retailing in S’pore are highly unproductive with too many sales people generating too few sales with high rentals eating up their profits. Most of the anchor tenants & key retail players belong to the crony capitalist circle.
    The rest are musical chair retailing concepts that come & go like the wind. The current trend is the Brown Sugar Boba Bubble Tea craze which has many players in the game. In another 1-2 years, a number of them would be history! How many retailing concepts have S’poreans seen over a lifetime; Portuguese Egg Tart, Kopi Roti, Cupcakes, Apple Strudel, etc. All these came & went without leaving any legacy.

    Coming Retail Apocalypse:
    S’pore Bricks ‘N Mortar Malls are impressive. But it hides one important fact, consumption & purchasing power in S’pore are extremely weak. If you observed the retail scene long enough, you find that very few retail shops actually make money after deducting their costs. The tenants instead make money for their landlords especially the REITs.
    Retailing in S’pore are highly unproductive with too many sales people generating too few sales with high rentals eating up their profits. Most of the anchor tenants & key retail players belong to the crony capitalist circle.
    The rest are musical chair retailing concepts that come & go like the wind. The current trend is the Brown Sugar Boba Bubble Tea craze which has many players in the game. In another 1-2 years, a number of them would be history! How many retailing concepts have S’poreans seen over a lifetime; Portuguese Egg Tart, Kopi Roti, Cupcakes, Apple Strudel, etc. All these came & went without leaving any legacy.

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  • not many global brand names:

    i thought some white plp doggies like to quote sgd1 = myr3 to show how weak the myr is and how strong the sgd is ?

    well, premium outlet is just across the causeway, drive there and buy some bags full of clothings (cheaper and discounted ?) and have some good meals (decently priced also ?) in their decent restaurants lor ? what to do, retail businesses (& most businesses) like to arbitrage higher labour cost here by getting manpower from the north or elsewhere; and consumers must also be smart to arbitrage the lower cost of consumer items from other countries lor (fly to bangkok or kl lor) ??

    now see the effect with a high cost environment in a crowded sinkie land with not many global brand names of our own (entreprenuers) yet white idiots tokkok about raising gst to help the poor (or elderly) hor ? or gst increase makes it even costlier for consumers items ?

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  • Tremendous:

    I doubt the minister visited retail shops regularly. Once retail goes down, landlords will find it hard to prop up property prices. Part of our GDP depends on property transactions and ministers’ salaries will be affected. But we have smart ministers who know how to look after themselves. They will start to tweak the formula for GDP or bonus calculations soon.

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  • Malaysians bought Food From JB:

    I saw with my own eyes. A group of Malaysian Indians working as our lift maintenance technicians always park their motorbikes illegally beside the coffee shop in Bedok and order only coffee or tea and then eat their food which they brought from JB. I guess the same for Lunch.

    This happens everyday. All the money earned in Singapore goes back to JB. WTF

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  • KFC Macdonald cheaper ....:

    KFC MacD cheaper in Malaysia.
    Which location u go cheaper ? Give an address.

    Please man. Its because of the exchange rate . If 1 to 1 where got cheap.

    Pirate DVD is cheap.
    Anyway now people also download.

    Some of the CNY stuffs may be cheap but you need go further deeper away from custom area e.g. pasir gudang.

    Which sg coffee shop allow people to bring outside food ? Bedok ? Which address. U mean after its closed .

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  • Cheap Cheap Cheap:

    What a lot to do in Malaysia:

    1) Haircut, facial, massage, spa.
    2) Shopping @megamalls, bringg a few bags, few big luggage.
    3) Eat in good restaurants.
    4) Watch movies, concerts.
    5) Go legoland.
    6) Take luxury coach back to Sing. Very cheap, includes meals, toilet, movie screen.

    All cheaperer than Sing.

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  • Bedok Coffee Shop:

    The address is Blk 123. It hsppens in the morning. People even smoke in the coffee shop. They do not care as long as you order drinks from them.

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  • @ Cheap Cheap Cheap:

    Still because of exchange rate.

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  • Bedok Coffee Shop:

    A lot of jokers here.

    You ask for a address you just give me a block number and not full address. Bedok North ? Bedok South ? Bedok Reservoir Road ?
    You want the authorities to investigate and stop the non nonsense you complain yet no full address.

    At least take video upload to youtube as pmd case.

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  • why can't others:

    //The address is Blk 123. It hsppens in the morning. People even smoke in the coffee shop. They do not care as long as you order drinks from them.//

    when business is tough and competitive moving toward 6.9m or 10m chat-ba-lang population standard ? sooner or later, there will be all sorts of behaviors and chat-ba-lang standard in order to ‘survive’ and make a living lar ?

    well, it is easier for the white idiots to draw lines (rules and regulations) of this and that BUT it is not so easier now to do businesses in a high cost competitive environment ??

    so that there is a “silent understanding” to increase prices of goods / services taking cue (excuse) especially from fees / prices / ‘taxes’ of garment related services ? if white monkey idiots can do it, why can’t others hor ?????

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