It’s only the first quarter of 2016, and already vacancies at retail malls in Singapore’s central region have gone up to a five-year high. This is due mostly to untenanted spaces in Orchard area shopping centres.
Newer buildings have been affected, as empty spaces have yet to be filled, and in some cases, tenants have pre-terminated their lease. It’s all part of the larger struggle of the retail sector, which is constantly battling rising costs and increased supply of space.
Malls with higher vacancies in Orchard include Shaw Centre, Orchard Gateway, Orchard Central and Palais Renaissance, reported The Straits Times. This could continue to increase if retailers shut down more non-performing stores by the end of the year.
But if you look on the bright side, this slow leasing activity has decreased rental rates by almost two percent over the past few months, and landlords may even offer more discounts to stabilise occupancy.
Perhaps someone will soon come up with a shopping spree campaign to help save the malls.