by Wang, Esther Ying Jie
Wing Tai is a Hong Kong-originated company that is currently based in Singapore. It is one of the key players in the local garment industry, owning labels such as Fox, G2000, Miss Selfridge, and Topshop. It is also well-known in the real estate industry, and specializes in building high-end luxury condominiums. The company has significant stake holdings in numerous subsidiary companies in both Hong Kong and Malaysia.
Wing Tai Holdings Limited is a company that started out in Hong Kong in the 1950s as a small garment manufacturer. It eventually extended its operations into Singapore and Malaysia in the 1960s. Since then, it has developed into one of the largest fashion retailing companies in Asia, owning prestigious international fashion labels such as G2000, Topshop, Dorothy Perkins, Miss Selfridge, Nike, and Fox. The company has been listed in Singapore since 1989.
In the 1980s, the company diversified into the property development market, and quickly became well-known for building luxury condominiums, especially those that boast the state-of-the-art high-tech features, and architectural designs from award winning designers. Wing Tai Holdings currently has a list of apartments to their name in both Singapore and Malaysia, and is planning more high-end property projects in both countries. In Malaysia, the company is responsible for The Meritz Residences, a 110-unit, 31-storey tower that is located opposite the famed Petronas Twin Towers. The Meritz Residences is the first condominium in Malaysia to use the biometric security system, which is programmed to recognize residents by their fingerprints. The luxury residence is also designed by internationally acclaimed Australian architect Guida Mosley Brown. In Singapore, the company's projects include the 136-unit Draycott Eight condominium in the town area, with its impressive apartment sizes of 1,173sq ft to 4,187sq ft. Wing Tai Limited is currently working on at least 4 more luxury condominium suites in Singapore, including the Belle Vue and Ascentia Sky residences, both of which will be located in the prestigious Orchard Road shopping area, with their projected completion dates still currently unknown.
Wing Tai is also responsible for the architecture design and construction of 2 train stations in Singapore's Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system. The company won the contracts to laying and designing the marble facades of the Bugis and Lavender stations in 1989.
The company's other operations include the popular Yoshinoya chain of franchised Japanese restaurants, as well as the COVA Pasticceria Confetteria, a high-end tea place located in Singapore's Paragon Shopping Centre, and fashioned after the street of Via Montenapoleone in Milan, Italy. The COVA Pasticceria Confetteria is Wing Tai's first foray into a premium food and beverage venture, and it is based on the stores founded by Antonio Cova in Milan in 1817. There is currently only 1 COVA Pasticceria Confetteria in Singapore, and 14 Yoshinoya fast food restaurants.
Wing Tai has significant stake holdings in 2 of its subsidiary companies USI Holdings located in Hong Kong, and DNP Holdings located in Malaysia. DNP is responsible for managing the groups retail interests and property development schemes in Malaysia.
Significant Financial Years
2003 was one of the most difficult financial years for local and international firms. Singapore was hit with the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) in that year, and together with America's declaration of war on Iraq, the global economy slowed down considerably. Wing Tai's various business sectors were heavily affected in 2003, with their fashion retail volume falling between 15% to 40% over the months of April and May. The company also suffered a slower uptake ratio in their property sales, with the first quarter of the 2003 being one of the weakest sales periods in recent years. However, Wing Tai capitalized on several government policies to jumpstart the economy, including the scheme to allow the use of CPF (Central Provident Funds) to make initial property downpayments, and was eventually able to manage occupancy rates of more than 90% for their properties of Park Mall, and the Winsland House I and II.
Edmund Cheng, the company's Deputy Chairman, believes that Wing Tai has a unique signature in the property development market because of its emphasis that the company places on quality and details. The distinctive trait of creating lasting value and enhancing the quality of lives through its premium products is certainly the reason for its continued success. In 2006, the company recorded a triple revenue of S$889.3 million, with its net profit growing 5 times to S$128 million as compared to the previous year.
The company's remarkable growth in the fiscal year of 2006 is much stimulated by the decision of the Singapore government to approve the development of a resort project at Marina Bay. Cheng, the Deputy Chairman, believes that the award of the project by the government to an overseas company, the United States-based group Las Vegas Sands, would encourage a greater influx of foreign investors and groups into Singapore. Given Wing Tai's emphasis on luxury lifestyles and premium goods, the company benefited greatly from the subsequent increase in the number of foreign residents in Singapore, especially since these newcomers purchased its numerous high-end apartments, all of which are located conveniently near Singapore's commercial hub.
Esther Wang Ying Jie
Hoover's Company Records. (2009, January 1). Wing Tai Holdings Limited. Retrieved January 8, 2009, from Hoover's Company Records database.
Chong, J. H. (2006, September 20). Wing Tai plans more high-end property projects in Malaysia. New Straits Times, Main/Lifestyle Edition, p. 42. Retrieved January 8, 2009, from ProQuest Newsstand database.
Rajan, P. (2006, September 23). Winning ways of Singapore's Wing Tai. New Straits Times, Main/Lifestyle Edition, p. 4. Retrieved January 8, 2009, from ProQuest Newsstand database.
Wing Tai Holdings Limited. (1989). Wing News. Singapore: Wing Tai Holdings Limited.
(Call no.: RSING q381.45691 WN issue Oct)
Wing Tai Holdings Limited. (2003). Summary Report: 40th anniversary edition, 1963 to 2003. Singapore: Wing Tai Holdings Limited.
(Call no.: RSING q338.76095957 WTHSR 2003)
Wing Tai puts on the ritz. (2007, January 20). New Straits Times, Main/Lifestyle Edition, p. 8. Retrieved January 8, 2009, from ProQuest Newsstand database.
Wing Tai Holdings Ltd. (2007). About Us. Retrieved January 30, 2009, from http://www.wingtaiasia.com.sg/aboutus.php.
Wing Tai Holdings Ltd. (2007). Food:COVA. Retrieved January 30, 2009, from http://www.wingtaiasia.com.sg/cova.php
The information in this article is valid as at 2009 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.