Robinsons' liquidators 'hopeful' of continuing sales to mid- or end-December

Robinsons said the decision to liquidate came after an "inability to continue operations due to weak demand at department stores".
Robinsons said the decision to liquidate came after an "inability to continue operations due to weak demand at department stores".PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Shoppers hoping to make their last purchases and at the two Robinsons outlets here may have until at least the middle or the end of December to do so.

A document answering customers' frequently asked questions uploaded online by Robinsons' appointed liquidators KordaMentha on Tuesday (Nov 3) said: "We are hopeful of execute (sic) a sale campaign through to approximately mid to end December 2020."

The 162-year-old department store announced last Friday (Oct 30) that it is closing its last two stores in Singapore at The Heeren and Raffles City Shopping Centre.

The announcement led to snaking queues at both stores over the weekend, and an outpouring of sadness by customers and staff.

The retailer said the decision to liquidate was prompted by a range of factors, including changing consumer tastes and cost pressures such as rent.

"The overarching business model of department stores is outdated," it said in a statement.

Robinsons also said the decision came after an "inability to continue operations due to weak demand at department stores".

While the retailer's e-commerce platforms are no longer operational, shoppers can continue to visit its brick-and-mortar stores for the time being.

On Tuesday, KordaMentha said it has not had the opportunity to fully review the reasons for Robinsons' failure "at this stage", but noted the store's recognition of shifting consumer trends from offline to online spending and that the Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated this shift.

On when sales at the two stores will end, KordaMentha said it was still working with various stakeholders, including key suppliers and landlords to "hopefully agree" on a timeline.

"Once we have agreement with these critical stakeholders, we will be able to make an announcement in this regard," it added.