Retailers keeping expectations in check for Great Singapore

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singaporeproperty
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Retailers keeping expectations in check for Great Singapore

Post by singaporeproperty » Fri May 29, 2015 1:08 am

Singapore Retailers Association says it does not expect to see greater sales numbers as compared to last year.

SINGAPORE: As retailers gear up for this year's Great Singapore Sale, they are keeping their hopes in check.

Amid a challenging retail environment, the Singapore Retailers Association said it does not expect to see greater sales numbers as compared to last year.

Furniture and electronics store Courts Asia booked a 16.4 per cent year-on-year slide in earnings for the three months ended in March. Earnings came in at S$6.56 million, down from S$7.84 million in the same period a year ago, on the back of a 7 per cent dip in revenue to S$192.5 million. Courts said its bottomline was hurt by weakness in its key Singapore and Malaysia markets.

The decline in sales in Singapore was mainly due to a sluggish retail environment, leading to the fall in sales of all product categories.

The retailer said property cooling and loan-tightening measures in Singapore as well as labour restrictions have dampened consumer demand, and the outlook remains cloudy.

“It is going to be muted, I think it is going to remain sluggish. The rate of descent is slowed but we would probably anticipate it is going to bounce along the bottom until there is some catalyst,” said Mr Terry O’Connor, CEO of Courts. “We would expect the catalyst to be sort of an easing of policy or some sort of consumer demand stimulus that brings some health back to the market.”

With visitor arrivals sliding this year, notably those from the key markets of China and Indonesia, the retail industry is keeping a conservative forecast for the annual Great Singapore Sale.

The Singapore Retailers Association said it does not expect to see a jump in sales.

Ms Jannie Chan, president of the Singapore Retailers Association, said: "I think if we can get between S$6 billion and S$6.5 billion, maintaining last year, we will be very happy. Because we do know that economically, globally it is bad, regionally it is difficult because of the changes in politics, and Singapore's economy is restructuring, but the younger people, the pioneer generations have been given goodie bags and more money to spend, so I do hope that we will be able to maintain."

The retail industry accounts for about 7 per cent of Singapore's GDP, employing 173,000 people, or 4.8 per cent of the total workforce in 2014.

- CNA/xq

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/sin ... 78780.html

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