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Robinsons Closing Down: Empty Shelves & No Clearance Prices

No need to rush down to queue up at the stores.

Robinsons Closing Down: Empty Shelves & No Clearance Prices

No need to rush down to queue up at the stores.

Department store Robinsons caught many shoppers by surprise when it unexpectedly announced on Oct 30 that it was going out of business. The news came after it shuttered its three-storey outlet at Jem in August this year. Robinsons' remaining two outlets at The Heeren and Raffles City Shopping Centre will be closed to facilitate the liquidation process, though the exact closure date has not been specified.

According to a customer FAQ sheet issued by Robinsons' appointed liquidator KordaMentha, it is currently working with various stakeholders like key suppliers and landlords to hopefully agree a sale timeline , and that we are hopeful of execute [sic] a sale campaign through to approximately mid to end December 2020 .

1 of 10 Robinsons vouchers: can they still be used?

The short answer is yes. But on Oct 30, Robinsons posted a notice on social media stating that purchases made using vouchers must now be double the voucher's value. This means if you have a $100 Robinsons voucher, you must spend at least $200 in order to utilise the voucher. The retailer did not give a reason for the change in policy.

KordaMentha also sheds light on what happens to unused gift vouchers in the event of a store's liquidation like Robinsons'. In the same FAQ sheet, it says: In a liquidation scenario there is no obligation to honour gift vouchers given they are essentially unsecured claims against the company, however, out of goodwill and recognition for customer loyalty, Robinsons’ gift cards and vouchers continue to be exchangeable for goods at Robinsons provided their spending is at least double the voucher amount.

And you can only spend your Robinsons vouchers at the department store' outlets. Its parent company, the Dubai-based conglomerate Al-Futtaim, offers its customers two kinds of vouchers.

The vouchers printed with Robinsons' logo is specifically for use at the retailer, while there are also Al-Futtaim Retail Asia Gift Vouchers (with the company's logo at the top of the voucher).

The latter can be used in their original value (no double purchase amount required) at the conglomerate's other stores listed on the vouchers. So if you're holding onto Al-Futtaim vouchers, you don't have to force yourself to offload them only at Robinsons — according to its
website, Al-Futtaim's retail portfolio in Singapore includes Marks & Spencer, Royal Sporting House, Zara, Mango, Vans and Lacoste.
  • 2 of 10 Shoppers rush to the department store visited Robinsons' The Heeren outlet today (Nov 1) and saw a snaking queue outside the store. Despite the long line, the waiting time took about 10 minutes. But this doesn't mean you should chiong down to the store to score bargains. There is no clearance sale, or drastically discounted goods up for grabs.
  • 3 of 10 Most of the shelves were empty

    From our observation, there wasn't much one could buy at The Heeren outlet. The shelves were mostly empty. In the bedding department, we saw some shoppers valiantly picking through some bedsheets and towels.

    Customers who had earlier bought mattresses but have yet to receive their delivery will have to wait till the company sorts out payment terms with its bedding suppliers. According to Robinsons' Facebook update, the store is scheduling meetings with mattress suppliers on an urgent basis to try and resolve the current situation which is negatively impacting our customers .

    It adds: Unfortunately, until we are able to discuss and resolve the issues with the mattress suppliers we are unable to provide any further update or action any deliveries, refunds or exchanges.

  • 4 of 10 Shoe section sealed off

    Part of the women's shoes section was cordoned off with yellow 'caution' tape.

  • 5 of 10 Shoes strewn about

    The clutter was probably why the area was sealed off to shoppers.

  • 6 of 10 Shoe display racks all cleared

    There were only a few harried-looking sales assistants around. Some of them were scurrying in and out of the stockrooms, though it was hard to get hold of a staff member for assistance.

    When we did manage to stop a sales assistant to enquire about clearance discounts, she politely informed us that the only promotion was $30 off with a minimum spending of $200, or $20 off for purchases above $150. There were also printed signs placed around the store informing customers of this discount, which appeared to be a fairly standard Robinsons promotion, and not a special closing down sale.

  • 7 of 10 Situation at the homeware department

    Some dining ware and random kitchen knick-knacks left (shelves for brands like Le Creuset and Scanpan were completely emptied).

  • 8 of 10 Beauty department

    Displays at the beauty counters were covered with a plastic sheet; half of the beauty hall occupying the first floor was also cleared out.

  • 9 of 10 Limited selection of men's sneakers

  • 10 of 10 Womenswear department

    While the womenswear department had racks of discounted clothing, everything was jumbled up and chaotic. In the time of a Covid-19 pandemic, it might be a better idea to shop in leisure and spend your Al-Futtaim vouchers at a less crowded store.


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