Gordon Brothers to Manage Store Closure Program of Singapore Retailer Robinsons

Gordon Brothers, the global advisory, restructuring and investment firm, has been engaged by provisional liquidators KordaMentha to manage the store closure program of heritage department store retailer, Robinsons, in Singapore, with SGD 25 million of retail inventory.

Al Futtaim group announced on the 29th of October the appointment of KordaMentha’s as provisional liquidators for Robinson’s. They are responsible for the remaining Robinsons’ department stores located at The Heeren and Raffles City Shopping Centre. Based in Dubai, Al Futtaim Group is the parent company of Robinsons.

History and Controversy

For 160 years, Robinsons has been operating in Singapore and became a household name. The company initially established as Spicer and Robinson in 1858. In 2006, Lippo Group became the majority shareholders by way of Auric Pacific (Singapore). They had purchased 29.9% of Robinson’s shares from OCBC. Later, during a controversial board meeting in October 2006, the new owners had booted out chairman Michael Wong Pakshong. Following this, long-standing board member of 18 years, Chew Gek Khim resigned her position.  In April 2008, Al Futtaim Group purchased 88% of the shares of Robinson’s at $7.20 per share. While not a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the impact of the ongoing global health crisis and the shift in consumer shopping habits from offline to online accelerated the decision to close the two remaining Robinsons stores. Al Futtaim Group had been supporting the company for several years.

Robinsons is Gordon Brothers first project in Singapore

“Whilst we have previously supported clients in Indonesia and Malaysia, this project represents our first engagement in Singapore and marks a significant new partnership with KordaMentha,  whom we look forward to working with again in the future,” said Richard Ansell, Retail Director for Gordon Brothers in Australia.

“The professionalism and experience of the Gordon Brothers’ retail team made them the obvious choice to partner with,” said Cameron Duncan, KordaMentha. “Their knowledge and expertise in the retail space compliment our local restructuring experience. Above all, we are confident that the combined experience across both teams will maximise returns”.

The project also includes the disposition of all furniture, fixtures and equipment from the Robinsons department stores, and the procurement of augmenting inventory sourced from the surrounding region, which has already started with packages from Japan in transit by air freight.

Visit the Gordon Brothers website to find more information on them.

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