Globally, the term “retail” is a broad topic, encompassing everything from supermarkets to high-end fashion, to cars and even jewellery. In Singapore, the retail industry accounts for around 1.4% of the country’s GDP along with approximately 3% of the workforce. Traditionally, when we think of retail we associate it with physical stores but an increasing amount of business is now moving to stores’ websites or other e-commerce platforms.
The decline in physical stores is a global phenomenon and while alarming on the one hand, also presents new and potentially more lucrative opportunities. Indeed, a report in 2018 by Google and Termasek Holdings, predicted the e-commerce market in Singapore to expand by $7.5 billion by 2026.
In Singapore, we have witnessed an increase in consumers beginning their buying journeys online but reinforcing their buying decisions with visits to bricks and mortar stores. It is something that is often referred to as omnichannel retailing with an experiential retail experience. It is an approach that is supported and encouraged by the Singapore government through the Retail Industry Digital Plan (Retail IDP).
Below we investigate some of Singapore’s top retail companies across a wide range of sectors.