With Cold Stone Creamery closing at the end of January 2020, we take a look back at the retailers, restaurants, and other stores that left Singapore in the last year.
A Singaporean staple that was unable to innovate with the times, DOME Cafe seemed to herald the closing down of a lot of other establishments in 2019.
The closure was announced in May 2019, with the Facebook post above. It said, “Thank you for 26 years of awesome memories! Our last outlet in Singapore at Parkway Parade will cease operations after 23 June 2019. We hope to reminisce with you over one (or many) last coffee in the next few weeks.”
They were able to offer their fan favorites of iced mocha with ice cream and their Original Club Sandwich to patrons before they ended their operations in June 2019.
Bookstores all over Singapore (MPH, Kinokuniya, Popular)
Thanks to Amazon.com, the brick and mortar bookstore MPH definitely took a hit, even as it hung on for almost 7 years after Borders was lost. Other brands to hit the dust in 2019 were Popular and Books Kinokuniya.
According to a previous report on Alvinology, the high overhead costs of rent and maintaining the physical stores took a toll on the brands, as well as the change of buying habits of consumers thanks to e-commerce.
The Raffles City and Parkway outlets of MPH closed in the last quarter of 2019, and book lovers all over Singapore are feeling the loss, even as they order their new books on Amazon.
Popular closed the Thomson Plaza branch after being in business for 31 years, while the Japanese bookstore shuttered the Liang Court outlet after being in Singapore for 36 years.
Nothing really beats browsing a library or bookstore for a whole afternoon.
While not a Singaporean company, the Konsortium brand of bus tours’ sudden closure was so abrupt that patrons were literally left holding their tickets.
When patrons went to the popular Golden Mile office, they were met with this sign:
WE ARE SORRY TO INFORM THAT THE COMPANY HAVE WENT INTO FINANCIAL CRISIS AND WILL CEASE OPERATION ON ALL SERVICES WITH IMMEDIATE EFFECT
TO THE AFFECTED PASSENGERS WITH UNFULFILLED TRIPS, PLEASE MAKE CLAIM FROM YOUR TRAVEL INSURANCE (IF ANY) OR REFER TO SMALL CLAIMS TRIBUNAL TO LODGE YOUR REFUND.
WE ARE DEEPLY APOLOGETIC FOR THE SUDDEN CLOSURE AND WE SEEK YOUR FORGIVENESS.
Other players in the business, like members of the Express and Excursion Bus Association stepped up to honor the tickets of the affected passengers.
Were any of the affected customers able to get refunds?
Gap and Banana Republic
While the stores shut down in 2018, the vacuum left by such big brands can still be felt. What used to be a thriving market in Singapore turned into periodic sales and losses for the two clothing retailers.
They started their closing process with a 70% off sale, and an additional discount of 30% if you had bought three items or more.
A previous report we did said that the brands planned to concentrate on their North American market.
The Facebook accounts for both brands in Singapore have since been deactivated.
How do you feel about these brand closures? Let us know in the comments!