What a year it has been. 2021 was tumultuous, and what would likely remain dominantly problematic is the still-raging pandemic that is getting many people quite fatigued by it. One good thing for us at SOTD is that, with more people spending time at home, weather working or just avoiding the crowds outside, more are reading our posts. These past 12 months have been the best for us—we see the highest viewership in all of our nine years of bringing fashion news to you. And it shows us that many people still enjoy reading, no matter how dated some are making blogs in general out to be. Or, saying that no one wants to read in-depth analysis or back stories of fashion and such happening around us. We like to thank all of you for your tremendous support and encouragement, and for continuing to believe that this is where you would always find something informative and enjoyable to read. From all of us here, a better and healthful 2021 to you. And, great style, too.
Photo illustration: Jim Sim
It appears that the closing of stores permanently is what many like to read
We have never really been too concerned with figures pertaining to our viewership or what people like to read, but it’s interesting to see, as we look back at this past year—still pandemic-stricken, that the top three posts of the year are those about brands and businesses closing here. It is always regrettable and sad that good businesses close down despite their best efforts to stay afloat. The many closures this past year, not just these three mentioned in this post, suggest to us that other than real economic factors, retailers are indeed facing declining shopper numbers. No real study has been conducted to understand why people are no longer shopping at physical stores other than the general belief that most consumers prefer to do it online, as attested by the popularity of Shopee and the rising tide of livestream selling.
At the top of the list, and sitting way above the second and the third, is the closure of Pedder on Scotts in September. The “it’s hard to say goodbye” closing down sale of Pedder on Scotts, after five years operating on the entire second floor of Scotts Square, surprised many. On Pedder at Takashimaya Shopping Centre remains open. Also totally unexpected was the closure of AW Lab. Headquarted in Italy, AW Lab has considerable presence in Europe. On our island, they had four stores. They closed all of them at the end of November last year. The least anticipated permanent shuttering was the closure of Temt. Sitting on the third place of the most read post, the Australian fast-fashion brand seemed to enjoy a heathy fan base, but that was not sufficient to keep them buoyant and alive.
It is hard not to see that many of our shoppers here are attracted to reports of stores that would no longer exist, as if they have been placing wagers on who would go next. Interestingly, our top read last year was about the closure of Topshop (and Topman) here. The subsequent media coverage was about how “fans mourn” the passing of an era. With the pandemic still very real, it does appear that shopping in a physical store would increasingly look like an activity of an age past and forgotten. No one is too concern with the rapid vanishing of real spaces in which you are able to see, touch and feel tangible merchandise (since, as the common refrain goes, “you can get anything online”). We have lost our position as a shopping destination a long time ago. It does not seem we would be reclaiming that status any time soon.
File photos: SOTD