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Higher price points and e-commerce force American Eagle to quit Singapore

American fashion retailer American Eagle Outfitters is expected to shut shop in the Singapore market at the end of the month with the closure of its two stores here it was reported.

The store is currently having a closing-down sale and industry watchers said that its closure on Feb 28 will be the final day of operations here. Its Vivo City store shut shop on Wednesday.

American Eagle Outfitters had launched operations here around three years ago under domestic firm Star 360 Holdings, which gained exclusive retail and distribution rights for the brand in Singapore and Malaysia. Star 360 also retails brands such as Onitsuka Tiger, Birkenstock and Cole Haan here along with its multi-label footwear and apparel stores.

Recently fashion retailer FJ Benjamin announced the closure of Gap and Banana Republic stores here by the end of February.

Ms Esther Ho, deputy director of Nanyang Polytechnic's School of Business Management, assessed that the rise of fast fashion labels such as H&M, Zara and Forever 21 has hurt brands like Gap and American Eagle Outfitters which retail at a slightly higher price point and do not produce new styles as the market demands. "For American brands, the growth of e-commerce also affects how their stores perform here. Singaporeans can bypass the distributors and buy direct online instead," she added.