Sasa shutters, there were others: 5 popular names that left Singapore malls

Sasa shutters, there were others: 5 popular names that left Singapore malls

Carrefour Singapore
The Carrefour outlet at Suntec City. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons) 

SINGAPORE: Cosmetics retailer Sasa will no longer be a familiar sight in neighbourhood malls as it announced on Monday (Dec 2) the closure of all 22 stores in Singapore.

The company, which is headquartered in Hong Kong, said that about 170 employees will be affected.

READ: Sasa to close all retail stores in Singapore

From fashion to furniture, here are five other popular retailers which we have said goodbye to over the years.

1. BORDERS

Borders Singapore Wheelock
The Borders outlet at Wheelock Place. (Photo: Facebook/Borders Singapore) 

It was the end of an iconic chapter when Borders closed down in 2011. 

With an abundance of free-to-browse books, sofas and armchairs, Borders was the classic landmark for a good time with a good read.

Those who frequented the store would remember how you would lose track of time moving from shelf to shelf and opening book after book - even if you had no plans to buy any!

The bookstore opened its first store in Singapore in 1997 at Wheelock Place along Orchard Road, and another at Parkway Parade in 2007.

In Aug 16, 2011, Borders' flagship store at Wheelock Place abruptly shut due to a rental dispute with its landlord. 

Three days later, it was announced that it would be shut permanently.

The Borders Singapore franchise was acquired by Popular Holdings, which eventually opened a new outlet at Westgate mall in 2013. The outlet was however quickly turned into a standard Popular bookstore. 

2. CARREFOUR

Carrefour Singapore
The Carrefour outlet at Suntec City. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons) 

If Plaza Singapura and Suntec City malls were your shopping haunts, you would remember the signature spacious aisles of the huge Carrefour supermarkets.

It was one of the places where you could zoom around with your trolleys with ease and not have to make way for oncoming traffic every minute. 

The French retail giant said "au revoir" to both Singapore hypermarkets in 2012 as it struggled to revive its outlets in Europe. 

"Expansion and growth perspectives do not allow reaching a leadership position in the medium and long term," the retailer had said in a statement.

Carrefour had around 400 employees in its two Singapore hypermarkets. 

3. GAP

The sign for a Gap store is seen on 5th avenue in midtown Manhattan in New York
The sign for a Gap store is seen on 5th Avenue in midtown Manhattan in New York on Jun 16, 2015. (Photos: Reuters/Brendan McDermid)

Fans of Gap met the news with shock. 

It was only in 2010 that the American clothing brand arrived in Singapore. But the brand closed its last three stores last year after the management decided not to renew the franchise.

Banana Republic, which is owned by Gap, also closed down its two outlets at Paragon Shopping Centre and Marina Bay Sands.

According to CNN, Gap had announced in late 2017 that it had plans to close “underperforming” Gap and Banana Republic stores.

Out of the 2,000 Gap and Banana Republic stores worldwide, it was reported that around 10 per cent of them would be affected.

Despite its closure, denim-lovers and flannel fans in Singapore would have been delighted that new brands and players filled the gap quickly.

4. FRANCFRANC 

FrancFranc Vivocity
The Francfranc outlet at VivoCity . (Photo: Facebook/Ingjin Thant) 

If you were one to shop for things unique or different, Francfranc was among the options - when it was around for a brief spell.

While the prices might not have been the easiest on the pocket, the choices would make you think twice before moving on. 

The Japanese lifestyle shop was in the Singapore market for only two years when its management decided to cease all operations.

With outlets at VivoCity and JCube, the shop sold products like furniture, home decor and appliances, and also bath products. 

"We would ... like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your generous support the past two years and sincerely apologise for the inconvenience caused," said its management Bals Singapore in a statement to media. 

5. HMV

HMV Singapore
A shelf of CDs at a HMV outlet in Singapore. (Photo: Facebook/HMV Singapore) 

Remember the shiny days of CDs, VCDs and DVDs? 

The days when music stores thrived as crowds thronged to their outlets across the country are gone.

And none was perhaps more popular than HMV, where audiophiles and the lay listener would spend hours browsing, listening and shopping for the latest albums.

But with the rise of streaming services and digital devices, music retail chains like HMV eventually lost out. 

In 2013, HMV Retail's head office in the United Kingdom filed for bankruptcy. Two years later, the company shut down its last Singapore outlet in Marina Square in September.

Stores in Canada and Hong Kong were also shuttered over the next few years. 

Source: CNA/ad(mn)

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