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US fashion brand Abercrombie & Fitch to close Singapore store on May 2

SINGAPORE — American casual wear brand Abercrombie & Fitch said on Monday (April 19) that it will close its physical Singapore store on May 2. The firm arrived here amid some controversy less than a decade ago.

Abercrombie & Fitch opened its store to much fanfare in Singapore in December 2011 with a parade of shirtless male models.

Abercrombie & Fitch opened its store to much fanfare in Singapore in December 2011 with a parade of shirtless male models.

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SINGAPORE — American casual wear brand Abercrombie & Fitch said on Monday (April 19) that it will close its physical Singapore store on May 2. The firm arrived here amid some controversy less than a decade ago.

In an Instagram post, the company did not state the reason for the closure of the store, located at the Knightsbridge Mall along Orchard Road. 

However, the post directed shoppers to its mobile application, which would enable them to be “able to shop from anywhere”.

Founded in 1892 as an outdoor retailer that sold fishing and hunting gear, Abercrombie & Fitch debuted to much fanfare in Singapore in December 2011 with a parade of shirtless male models.

Even before it launched its store here, the brand ran afoul of the Advertising Standards Authority of Singapore for breaching guidelines of decency.

Its advertisement showing a shirtless man tugging at his low-slung jeans at the Knightsbridge location — an area with heavy pedestrian traffic — caused consternation, with members of the public writing in to English daily The Straits Times complaining of its vulgarity and lewdness. The ad was suspended.

In 2015, Abercrombie & Fitch stopped using shirtless employees at events and at its stores. The brand also reportedly removed the “sexualised marketing” from in-store photos and gift cards.

Abercrombie & Fitch is the latest of several physical retailers to shut the doors of their physical oulets in Singapore. Earlier this month, homegrown retailer Naiise closed its last physical store at Jewel Changi Airport. 

In October last year, heritage retail brand Robinsons announced the closure of its last two stores at The Heeren and Raffles City Shopping Centre. Its last day of operations at the Raffles City location was in January.

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