Channel NewsAsia

FJ Benjamin to close some S'pore stores after quarterly loss

Fashion retailer FJ Benjamin said on Friday it plans to close underperforming stores in Singapore after it reported a loss for the three months ended March.

SINGAPORE: Fashion retailer FJ Benjamin said on Friday it plans to close underperforming stores in Singapore after it reported a loss for the three months ended March.

FJ Benjamin -- whose portfolio includes Gap, La Senza and Raoul -- posted a net loss of S$5.0 million for its fiscal third quarter ended March, reversing from a net profit of S$332,000 in the same period last year.

Group revenue decreased marginally by two per cent to S$90.3 million, while gross margins plunged to 39 per cent from 44 per cent.

"This has been a difficult quarter. We expect the outlook for Singapore and North Asia to remain challenging and are taking steps to close underperforming stores in Singapore," CEO Nash Benjamin said in a statement.

FJ Benjamin said lower spending by Indonesian tourists as a result of the depreciation of the rupiah against the Singapore dollar contributed to the dismal performance.

"Singapore, a key market, was particularly hard hit by aggressive industry-wide discounting, escalating rentals and manpower shortages," it said.

China's economic slowdown and curbs on luxury spending continued to suppress sales of luxury watches in North Asia, it added.

Besides fashion labels, FJ Benjamin also handles timepiece brands such as Alpina, Bell & Ross, Chronoswiss and Frederique Constant.

Tweet Photos, Videos and Update on this Story to  #cna