Robinsons Singapore announces closing-down sale as company liquidates

SINGAPORE, Oct. 30, 2020 -- Shoppers queue to enter the Robinsons department store at Heeren in Singapore on Oct. 30, 2020. The 162-year-old Robinsons announced the closing of its last 2 stores in Singapore, and will be exiting the retail scene. (Photo by Then Chih Wey/Xinhua via Getty) (Xinhua/Then Chih Wey via Getty Images)
Shoppers queue to enter the Robinsons department store at the Heeren in Singapore on 30 Oct, 2020. The 162-year-old Robinsons announced the closing of its last 2 stores in Singapore, and will be exiting the retail scene. (Photo: Then Chih Wey/Xinhua via Getty)

SINGAPORE — Department store chain Robinsons, one of the oldest retailers in Singapore, has launched a closing-down sale in its two remaining stores here at The Heeren and Raffles City Shopping Centre, with reductions across all ranges.

Robinsons broke the shocking news last Friday that it was closing all its remaining stores in Singapore and Malaysia, amid a retail decline that began even before business was badly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company has begun the process of liquidation, with its assets and operations in Singapore now being managed by its appointed liquidating firm, KordaMentha.

In a press release on Friday (6 November), Robinsons said, “The extensive sale features discounts across all ranges in-store, including fashion, beauty, homeware, accessories and travel. Everything has been reduced and must go, including brand-new stock still arriving as warehouses are emptied. Customers are encouraged to take advantage of these fantastic discounts while stocks last.”

Robinsons at Raffles City. (PHOTO: Janet Ong/Yahoo)
Robinsons at Raffles City. (PHOTO: Janet Ong/Yahoo)

Robinsons said liquidators are hoping the stores will remain open for the coming weeks to facilitate final sales for customers before closing, but could not confirm how long the stores would remain open.

A spokesperson for Robinsons said, “There are some fantastic deals to be found in-store, we encourage customers to visit stores as everything is now reduced and we expect ranges to sell out fast.”

Robinsons had previously announced in May that it was closing its Jem outlet in Jurong in August.

The affected outlets in Malaysia are at Shoppes at Four Seasons Place and The Gardens Mall. The appointed liquidator in Malaysia is Datuk Robert Teo Keng Tuan of RSM Malaysia.

Hordes of customers queued up to shop at Robinsons yesterday (30 Oct). (PHOTO: Yahoo Lifestyle SEA)
Customers thronged the Robinsons store at the Heeren last Friday even as suppliers emptied shelves of goods. (File photo: Yahoo Lifestyle SEA)

With the impending closures, Robinsons will end its operations in Malaysia and Singapore after 162 years.

Robinsons is owned by the Dubai-based Al-Futtaim Group. Al-Futtaim also owns retailers Marks & Spencer and Zara in Singapore, which are still operating.

Robinson’s Department Store was established in Singapore on 1 February 1858 by Philip Robinson, an English merchant, and James Gaborian Spicer.

The business began as a “family warehouse” at No. 9 & 10 Commercial Square (now known as Raffles Place) and sold foodstuff such as teas, rice, sugars, oatmeal, biscuits, crackers, cheese, preserved meats and millinery.

Robinsons weathered World War II bombings, a huge fire in 1972, and several changes of ownership in its long history.

Singaporeans mourned the loss of the local retail icon as it announced the impending closures, with customers rushing to make their last purchases over the weekend even as panicked suppliers cleared shelves of consignment goods in fear of Robinsons not being able to pay them for sold goods.

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