Robinsons, one of oldest retailers in Singapore to close remaining stores in Heeren, Raffles City

Robinsons' store at Raffles City is one of its two remaining stores in Singapore. — TODAY pic
Robinsons' store at Raffles City is one of its two remaining stores in Singapore. — TODAY pic

SINGAPORE, Oct 30 — Retailer Robinsons, which is more than 160 years old, will close its shutters for good. 

The firm announced today that it has started the liquidation process of its two remaining stores at The Heeren and Raffles City shopping centre.

These stores will remain open in the next few weeks to facilitate final sales for customers before the retailer closes for good, it said. 

The department store, which closed its store at Jem in August, is one of the oldest retailers in Singapore.  

The shutters will also come down for Robinsons’ stores in Malaysia, located at the Shoppes at Four Seasons Place and The Gardens Mall, both in Kuala Lumpur.  

Cameron Duncan and David Kim from corporate advisory and restructuring firm KordaMentha have been appointed as the provisional liquidators for the Singapore stores, said Robinsons in a statement.

They will now take control of the company’s assets and assess options to realise value in order to maximise returns to creditors. 

The store’s employees have been informed of the decision and liquidators will work together with the Singapore Manual and Mercantile Workers’ Union, the Employment and Employability Institute and the National Trades Union Congress’ Job Security Council to ensure that employees are supported.

In explaining its decision to close, Robinsons said the demand for large-scale department store concepts has weakened significantly with reports showing a 32 per cent drop in department store sales in July.

This is the largest drop of all retailer segments by 20 per cent, it added.

Exacerbating the issue is the fact that consumer patterns are shifting online, said the retailer. The Global Ecommerce 2020 report showed that Asia Pacific will produce nearly 63 per cent of all digital sales this year.

“The dual trend has hurt the department store model both in Singapore and globally, and the negative effects of Covid-19 have made its impact more acute,” it said.

“We regret this outcome today,” said Danny Lim, Robinson’s senior general manager, in the statement. 

“We have enjoyed success over the years and it has been an honour for Robinsons to serve the Singapore market.” — TODAY

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