A popular food court at Wisma Atria shopping centre in Orchard Road has shut down after it failed to pay rent. Japan Food Town, at the fourth floor of the Isetan department, had its shutters down as of last Saturday (Feb 29).
In a filing to the Singapore stock exchange, Isetan terminated the tenancy stating that Japan Food Town did not pay rent of undisclosed sums. Isetan claimed that they have already received offers from “interested parties” looking to take over the space.
The food court is one of the many shops which shut down due to the absence of tourists in Singapore. Due to low wages, the domestic market cannot be supported by local Singaporeans and retail shops are seeing sales revenue diving by as much as 90%.
Singapore saw its lowest tourist arrivals in a decade in February, after several countries posted travel advisories against travel to Singapore. Foreigners are also actively avoiding Singapore as there is an increasing number of cases who were infected locally and exported out. Last week, Australia Sydney and New Zealand each saw a confirmed case from Singapore.
More shops are expected to close in Singapore as local landlords are reluctant to offer any form of rental rebate. The Singapore government did not offer any assistance to the retail shops, and instead gave landlords a property tax rebate. The trickle-down economy policy did not work as landlords keep the tax rebates to themselves and did not pass them on to the tenants.