The Covid-19 pandemic has been a devastating event for many businesses. Lockdowns and safe distancing measures have resulted in a significant decrease in businesses’ footfall, translating to lower profits.

Last year, Singaporeans saw many beloved brands leaving our shores or shutting down for good. For example, one of Singapore’s oldest department stores, Robinsons, shuttered its stores across the island.

Furthermore, British fashion brands Topshop and Topman’s brand manager, Wing Tai Retail, confirmed the closure of its last outlet at VivoCity in September last year.

Most recently, Singapore multi-label retailer closed last Sunday its last and largest outlet at Jewel Changi Airport due to an ongoing struggle to pay its vendors.

The latest brand to join the slew of closures is American casual wear brand Abercrombie & Fitch (A&F). It announced on Instagram that its only physical store in Singapore will close from May 2.

It however, did not mention the reason for closure or whether there would be any sales.

Image Credit: A&F

A&F is an American heritage brand which was founded in 1892 as a outdoors and hunting store. It debuted in Singapore in 2011, where it caused a stir with its topless models.

According to Statista, the apparel brand hit its peak of 379 stores worldwide in 2015. However, as of 2020, it had 238 stores.

Abercrombie & Fitch closing
Image Credit: New York Post

In March 2020, the brand announced its decision to close all its stores in North America and Europe, citing the move as a response to the spread of Covid-19.

Fans of the brand can still download the mobile app and shop online, signalling the brand’s move to put more focus on the digital realm.

The customer has changed so dramatically, we don’t have a need for these large stores long-term,” said Abercrombie Chief Financial Officer Scott Lipesky last year.

The pandemic has revealed the opportunities and limitations of the e-commerce sector, with retailers realising that going digital is one of the best ways to reach their customer base Thus, many have developed an e-commerce strategy.

Featured Image Credit: Orchard Road

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