Robinson & Co (M) Sdn Bhd is set to close its two department stores in Malaysia and start the liquidation process following its inability to continue operations due to weak demand following the current pandemic.
Covid-19 pandemic has continued to affect Robinsons and other department store operators globally, especially in terms of store sales relative to online sales.
According to the Global Ecommerce 2020 report, it showed significant shifts in term of buying patterns, from offline to online spending. The report further showed that Asia Pacific will produce nearly 63% of all digital sales this year.
Robinsons is closing its two store at The Gardens Mall and The Shoppes at Four Seasons Place
Robinsons senior general manager Danny Lim said the changing consumer landscape makes it difficult for the department store to succeed over the long-term and the pandemic has further exacerbated the challenges.
He acknowledged that demand for department store concept has weakened significantly with reports showing a drop in retail sales, recording a negative growth rate of 8.5% in Malaysia for the first quarter of 2020 compared to the same period last year.
The department store is also will shutting down its stores in Sinngapore
Besides its two stores in Malaysia which are located at The Gardens Mall and The Shoppes at Four Seasons Place, Robinsons stores in Singapore will also undergo a similar liquidation process with the appointment of Cameron Duncan and David Kim from KordaMentha as provisional liquidators.
“Similarly, in Malaysia, the retail industry recorded the worst growth rate in 33 years with the outlook remaining negative for the remaining months of the year as consumers are expected to tighten their spending,” it said.
Robert Teo Keng Tuan of RSM Malaysia has been appointed as interim liquidator and the provisional liquidator will now take control of the company’s assets and assess options to realise value in order to maximise returns to creditors.
Subject to confirmation, the liquidators are hoping the stores will remain open for the coming weeks to facilitate final sales for customers before they are shuttered.