American Eagle Outfitters set to exit Singapore

This article is more than 12 months old

American fashion retailer American Eagle Outfitters will be exiting the Singapore market at the end of the month with the closure of its two stores here, The Straits Times has learnt.

Staff at its Suntec City outlet, which is currently having a closing-down sale, confirmed that its closure on Feb 28 will mark the end of the brand's presence here.

Its VivoCity flagship store ended operations on Wednesday, staff said.

The casual wear label made its entry here less than three years ago under local firm Star 360 Holdings, which scored exclusive retail and distribution rights for the brand in Singapore and Malaysia, according to its website.

Star 360 represents brands such as Onitsuka Tiger, Birkenstock and Cole Haan here in addition to its eponymous multi-label footwear and apparel stores.

A spokesman for subsidiary Trendz 360 said the company would be "refocusing on its strategic business in footwear both in Singapore and around the region", and its core business of footwear brands will not be affected by American Eagle Outfitters' exit.

The news comes a week after fashion retailer FJ Benjamin announced the closure of Gap and Banana Republic stores here by the end of February, when their franchise agreements expire.

Ms Esther Ho, deputy director of Nanyang Polytechnic's School of Business Management, said the rise of fast fashion labels such as H&M, Zara and Forever 21 has hurt brands like Gap and American Eagle Outfitters, which sit at a slightly higher price point and do not produce new styles as frequently, she said.

"For American brands, the growth of e-commerce also affects how their stores perform here. Singaporeans can bypass the distributors and buy direct online instead," said Ms Ho.