STORES | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Over half of Singapore shops worry on 2021 survival

Around nine in 10 expect their business to take hit if tourists do not return by mid-2021.

Over half of local shops in Singapore are worried that their business cannot stay open for more than six months if their sales do not recover to pre-COVID levels by end-December, according to a survey by American express.

Almost half of Singapore businesses reported improved sales in September and October compared to the same period a year ago. Further, one in two cited that having regular customers encourage their friends and family to shop at their establishment has been crucial to the recovery of their businesses.

However, 90% of those surveyed said their business sustainability is likely to be severely to moderately impacted if tourists do not return by mid-2021. As such, many of them need support from local shoppers to survive in the medium to long term in the absence of tourist spending.

To cope with the crisis, over half the businesses surveyed shifted to e-commerce (59%) and set up delivery and/or pick-up options (54%) to remain open during the early days of the pandemic.

The top three business model changes expected to continue beyond the pandemic include communicating to customers via social media (83%), providing digital and/or delivery options (81%), and accepting more payment types (80%).

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