Robinsons Winds Up In Singapore

Robinsons will wind up its business in Singapore, closing the two flagship stores at The Heeren on 16 December 2020 and The Raffles City Shopping Centre on 31 December 2020 respectively. Since its announcement a month ago, bargain hunters have thronged its two stores at The Raffles City Shopping Centre and The Heeren and nearly emptied the shelves of products at heavily discounted prices. These include homeware, bed and linen, fashion, as well as luxury products, among others. With guidance from your economics tutor Singapore in economics tuition Singapore, discuss the implications of Robinsons’ closure.

Up And Down Of Departmental Stores In Singapore

Robinsons, especially its store at The Raffles City Shopping Centre used to be the go-to place for local shoppers and tourists from other countries. The sales were especially strong during festive seasons such as the Christmas, when shoppers rushed to Robinsons stores for last minute Christmas gifts for their families and friends. Even with the competition from other departmental stores such as Daimaru, Emporium, John Little, Sogo and Yaohan, Robinsons continued to boom. In discussion with your economics tutor Singapore in your economics tuition Singapore class, explain Robinsons’ advantages over its competitors.

However, as more and more shopping malls and retail space were added, local shoppers and tourists were spoiled with too many choices. Departmental stores owners began to feel an increasing pressure. They were forced to undergo a few rounds of transformations to stay ahead of the intense competition. Some departmental stores, such as Daimaru, Emporium, John Little, Sogo and Yaohan could not keep up with the competition and closed for good. Robinsons, Marks & Spencer, BHG, OG and Takashimaya were among the very few survivors. But they too, have seen their profits declining over the years. You may consult your economics tutor Singapore in economics tuition Singapore about their past business performance and the contributing factors of thier business decline.

Covid-19 Being The Last Straw

The unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic has inevitably exposed the structural weaknesses of departmental stores like Robinsons and hence accelerated its demise. To find out more about the structural weaknesses of departmental stores, you may sign up for economics tuition Singapore with a reputable economics tutor Singapore. Despite Singapore government’s effort to cushion the negative impact of Covid-19 with rental relief and salary subsidies, the pandemic has led to the closure of some 2,500 businesses in the retail sector from April to October 2020. Apart from Robinsons, renowned retail brands such as Esprit, Topshop/Topman and Sportslink have also closed shops in Singapore. Edmund Quek is widely regarded as the best economics tutor Singapore. His economics tuition Singapore centre, Economics Cafe Learning Centre is conveniently located within five minutes’ walk from the Bishan MRT Station.

Retail businesses around the world have been seriously affected. In Singapore, average monthly retail sales have registered a significant decline of 28 per cent for the three months from April to June 2020, from pre-pandemic levels of S$3.7 billion. Departmental stores, apparel and footwear were among the worst hit, with a year-on-year decline ranging from 44 to 48 per cent from January to September 2020. You may approach your economics tutor Singapore in your economics tuition Singapore class for a detailed analysis of retail businesses in Singapore.

In closing, it is left for us to ask the question: is it end of the road for departmental stores in Singapore? With everything returning to normality in future, will departmental stores restore its glory? Based on data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Singapore, Singapore has a total of 5.76 million sqm retail space available, as of third quarter of 2020. Close to half of the space was concentrated in the central city area.

Linda Geng

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