SINGAPORE -- After 162 years in operation, Singapore's storied department store chain Robinsons will shut down for good after losing the battle against online retailers and the pandemic.
Robinsons has initiated the liquidation process, the operator said Friday. The two remaining stores in Singapore will hold closeout sales for a few weeks before shuttering. The affiliate that runs two Robinsons in Malaysia will be liquidated as well.
The parent company, Dubai conglomerate Al-Futtaim Group, made the decision to close the chain.
Robinsons debuted in 1858 during the British colonial period. The company opened large department stores in prime locations such as the Orchard Road business district.
Though the Robinsons brand became ingrained in Singapore, sales have languished in the past few years. The Singaporean business posted losses for six consecutive years since 2014, according to a local newspaper.
The shift to online retailing weakened the brick-and-mortar department store model, Robinsons' operator said, and the impact was compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Singapore's retail industry has struggled to stay afloat since the city-state shut its borders to tourists in response to the coronavirus. In August, Robinsons closed a location at a suburban shopping mall.
Singapore's Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. once owned a large chunk of Robinsons, then sold the chain to Indonesian conglomerate Lippo Group. In 2008, Al-Futtaim stepped in to acquire Robinsons.