Business

Several tenants moving out of One Raffles Place mall

14 of the mall's 113 tenants have left, with 13 more leaving by next month


When One Raffles Place shopping mall reopened in 2014 after a major makeover, it boasted a strong tenant line-up, much to the delight of office workers in the area.

But three years on, all but one of these crowd-pullers have shut or will move out by next month, as the retail slump claims yet another victim.

American lingerie brand Victoria's Secret, Japanese fashion retailer Uniqlo and South Korean cafe Paris Baguette have already closed their stores at the mall, which is next to Raffles Place MRT.

Travel products store Tumi, Swiss watch brand Swatch, Danish jeweller Pandora and shoe brand Melissa, have decided not to renew their leases and will shut soon.

A check by The Straits Times last Friday found that of the six-storey mall's 113 tenants, at least 14 have closed. 
At least another 13 will be moving out by next month when their three-year lease ends - which means nearly a quarter of the mall's retail space could be empty.

While it is usual for tenants to come and go, what makes One Raffles Place stand out is that its bigger tenants, who take up prime space on the ground floor, are leaving.

The impending closure of the bigger brands have upset smaller tenants who claimed they were not told of the moves prior to them renewing their leases.

A tenant, who declined to be named said he was "shocked" to find out that bigger tenants of the mall were ceasing operations.

"I renewed the lease as the rental was reduced, though it's still on the high side. But even so, it wasn't revealed to us that so many tenants...would be closing shop," he said.

The Body Shop outlet on level three, which is moving out on June 1, has not been making a profit, said its assistant boutique manager Nur Zalifah, 30.

She added that the number of customers had fallen after its next door neighbour Uniqlo closed earlier this month.

Other tenants who are moving out include Evergreen Stationery, Yami Yogurt and Blow + Bar hair salon.

An employee of Mr Teh Tarik Express, who wanted to be known only as Mohammad, said the cafe was also moving out as the landlord had doubled the rent.

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