M&S opens pop-up store at Waterway Point

Marks & Spencer (M&S) Singapore has opened a pop-up outlet at Waterway Point that will operate for the next six months.

The store, which opened last Saturday stocked with beauty and food products, is on the first floor of the Punggol mall.

The move comes after news of the impending closure of Robinsons Singapore, which, like M&S, is part of the Al-Futtaim group.

M&S said last Friday that it has no intention of closing its “thriving business” in Singapore although the franchise has appeared barely profitable of late, having recorded earnings of $101,613 in 2018, down from $2.9 million a year ago.

The British chain reported the first loss in its 94 years as a publicly listed company, largely due to a decline in clothing sales amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

M&S said on Wednesday that it made a pre-tax loss before one-off items of £17.4 million (S$30.8 million) in the 26 weeks to Sept 26, a reversal from a profit of £176 million a year ago.

DBS Group Research analysts said on Monday that more brands under Dubai-based conglomerate Al-Futtaim may follow in Robinsons’ footsteps and potentially face collapse given the ongoing pressures on retailers from capacity and travel limits.

The Al-Futtaim group represents most of the biggest brands in Singapore, with household names such as M&S, Zara and Mango in its stable.

THE BUSINESS TIMES

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