Local clothing brand 77th Street to close last outlet by end July

Local clothing brand 77th Street to close last outlet by end July

Singapore's struggling retail scene will claim yet another victim soon: well-known streetwear chain 77th Street.

The home-grown clothing company will be closing the doors of its last outlet in Ang Mo Kio by the end of July, Channel NewsAsia reported.

Founder Elim Chew told Mediacorp that high rentals was the reason behind the decision to shut down, contrasting the present rental rate of $35 per square foot with the rate of $9 per square foot when she first started the business.

Previously, she said in a interview with The Straits Times that the brand was shutting its stores over the years because of higher rentals and manpower shortages.

Ms Chew opened the first 77th Street store at Far East Plaza in 1988. At one point, it operated 16 outlets around Singapore.

The brand also became the first Singaporean retailer to set up a shopping mall in China in the early 2000s when it opened 77th Street Plaza, HRM Asia reported. The mall has since closed as well.

Last year, Ms Chew ventured into the logistics industry after setting up an app, Fastfast, along with Mr Adrian Ng of mobile app developer Codigo.

The app allows those in between jobs or retirees to become couriers to deliver documents or packages. As of April this year, around 4,500 people had already signed up to be FastFast drivers, The Straits Times reported.

The first six months of 2016 have seen a number of brands exit the retail industry, including British brand New Look and French menswear chain Celio as well as local labels Raoul and M)Phosis. Many have cited the weak retail sentiment, rising costs as well as the growing popularity of e-commerce as reasons for their closures.

seanyap@sph.com.sg

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