SINGAPORE: The road for iconic streetwear shop 77th Street has come to an end, with the shutters on its last shop at Ang Mo Kio Hub to come down by the end of July.
The shop’s founder Elim Chew told Mediacorp in an exclusive interview that her decision to close the shop was mainly because of high rentals.
"Well, you know, the dream during that time was to open up to 24 or 30 outlets all around Singapore. The rental was then affordable. But as the rental became higher and higher and higher, we find that we're just working for the landlord to pay off the rental,” she said.
“When I first started, (the rental rate) was S$9 per square foot, today it's S$35 per square foot. So, you know, we decided that we shouldn't embark into opening more shops."
Singapore's retail scene has changed overall, she added. "Today, with the high rentals, many unique and different types of businesses that are very funky and cool, cannot sustain themselves. Now shops have changed. It’s the repetition of many shops in different (ways), that’s why we’re not becoming a shopping paradise."
Founded in 1988, 77th Street was popular among youngsters for its range of streetwear and accessories. Its first outlet was a small shop at Far East Plaza. At its peak, the streetwear chain had 16 stores across Singapore.
For more on the story, catch The Great Retail Shake-Up on Talking Point on Thursday (Jun 30) at 9.30pm on Channel 5.