In a press statement on 16 May 2021, Singapore Tenants United For Fairness (SG TUFF) shared their poll result, showing that more than 81% of frontline businesses across retail, F&B, services and others are experiencing a sales drop of more than 50% versus pre-Phase 2 (HA).
Approximately 45% are experiencing 80% or more sales drop, with 36% dropping between 50-80%.
Singapore Tenants United For Fairness survey data shows that 86% of businesses are planning to close some shops and lay off staff. Within this group, 43% of Singapore retailers are planning to shut down most of their shops and lay off staff or exit the business completely. They shared that after a little more than a year of struggle since last March, small businesses cannot shoulder this kind of impact anymore and significant shop closures may be in the horizon and this may mean job losses as well.
“There has been an immediate disappearance of retail footfall, but only a few landlords say they will help. We hope landlords as a collective will do something,” Mr Kurt Wee, president of the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises
The current Covid-19 situation has been brutal for Singapore retailers. Thankfully, some of the bigger landlords have already proactively offered help and reacted quickly to retailers’ plights. Capitaland and Mercatus Cooperative, a subsidiary of NTUC Enterprise, are among the landlords who have proactively offered rental relief to all their affected tenants.
Mercatus Cooperative has pledged the “necessary rental, operational and marketing support”. It had already granted about $74 million of total rent relief to tenants and extended the interest waiver for outstanding rent payments from Feb 1 to Dec 31 last year. Suntec City has also said that it will “continue to provide rental support in a calibrated manner on a case-by-case basis“, while CapitaLand said it will provide retailers with the assistance that includes rental rebates and operational support to continue online sales through its digital platforms.
To retailers, seeing sales dry up amid tighter restrictions is tough, but hang in there, the government agencies and unions are closely monitoring the Covid-19 situation and are looking into support schemes for workers and retailers!