Giant VivoCity store to close
Hong Kong-headquartered Dairy Farm International is continuing to restructure its struggling Southeast Asian business, with the Giant VivoCity supermarket next to be axed.
The closure – scheduled for early next year – follows the closure of Giant Singapore stores at Panjang and Jalan Tenteram in Whampoa estate.
And Singapore online news portal Today is reporting “at least three other stores” are scheduled for closure: at The Grandstand mall on Turf Club Road, at Block 512 on Bishan Street 13, and at Block 118 on Aljunied Avenue 2.
“They are under review for lease renewals and store performance, among other considerations,” Today reported.
A Giant spokesperson said the company received notice from VivoCity that the lease will not be renewed when it expires in the first quarter of next year. Giant VivoCity staff will be redeployed to other stores in the 60-strong Giant Singapore network, or in other retail chains owned by Dairy Farm, such as Cold Storage, 7-Eleven and Guardian. An unidentified source said the space would be taken over by rival operator NTUC FairPrice, but the company declined to comment.
In July, announcing the company’s full-year results, Dairy Farm International chairman Ben Keswick said the company’s Southeast Asian food businesses continued to face challenges producing a weaker overall performance.
“The group saw lower sales and profits in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia, while in the Philippines, sales were higher but profits lower, due to increased operating costs resulting from more store openings. Generally, these businesses have suffered from a lack of investment in infrastructure, range and competitive pricing for some time, while competition in each market has been increasing.
“Turning these food businesses around and becoming more relevant to the changing demands of customers will take significant effort. Appropriate plans are now being put in place following the strategic review, but will require time to take effect,” said Keswick.