After closing its doors in January this year, iconic retailer Robinsons is returning – this time as an online store.
The site at www.robinsons.com.sg, described in the Thursday (Jun 10) media release as “a fully digital, state-of-the-art, vertically integrated online department store", will go live on Jun 24.
It will offer more than 200 specially-curated brands, including some familiar ones, some homegrown ones, as well as some that are new-to-market.
Visitors to the site now can submit their e-mail address to register for early access and to receive exclusive special offers.
The newly independent Robinsons Department Stores Online Pte Ltd has its head office based in Singapore and will be headed by Jordan Prainito, the former Managing Director of Canningvale Australia.
The Prainito family owns Canningvale, which sells sheets, towels and homewares mostly direct to consumers on its own website.
Prainito said, “I’m excited to be relaunching such an iconic brand. The brand has a rich history, and it strongly resonates with Singaporean and South East Asian customers. It just needs to be catapulted into the 21st century”.
He added that the company will hire Singaporeans to fill various positions across the business, and has already hired two former Robinsons’ employees.
“Robinsons is a Singaporean icon, if it is to respond to the needs of Singaporeans, it must be run by the people who understand the market,” Prainito added. “We look forward to introducing our customers to a whole new online shopping experience.”
According to the Australian Financial Review (AFR), there are plans to launch the online department store in Malaysia next year, as well as other Southeast Asian countries if all goes well.
The AFR also reported that Prainito knew Robinsons from his days as a university student in Singapore and had pitched the acquisition to his family.
Robinsons first announced in October 2020 that it would close its last two department stores in Singapore – at The Heeren and Raffles City Shopping Centre – after more than 160 years in the country. This was due to weakened demand and “significant shifts from offline to online spending” among customers, it said.