Robinsons begins liquidation of Malaysian stores

PETALING JAYA: Robinson Co (Malaya) Sdn Bhd has begun the liquidation process of its two stores in Malaysia, located at The Gardens Mall and Shoppes at Four Seasons Place.

Datuk Robert Teo Keng Tuan of RSM Malaysia has been appointed as interim liquidator. 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.

Globally, retail buying patterns are seeing significant shifts from offline to online spending with the Global Ecommerce 2020 report showing that Asia Pacific will produce nearly 63% of all digital sales this year. Furthermore, demand for department store concepts has weakened significantly with reports showing drop in retail sales, recording a negative growth rate of 8.5% in Malaysia for Q12020, as compared to the same period a year ago. In addition, large name players globally have exited the industry with a US study expecting over half of mall-based department stores to close in the next five years.

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. More department store closures have been announced in the past months with more expected as department stores in particular continue to struggle. The negative effects of Covid-19 have made its impact more acute.

Robinsons senior general manager Danny Lim commented: “We regret this outcome today. Despite recent challenges in the industry, the Robinsons team continued to pursue the success of the brand. However, the changing consumer landscape makes it difficult for us to succeed over the long-term and the Covid-19 pandemic has further exacerbated our challenges. We have enjoyed success over the years, and it has been an honour for Robinsons to serve the Malaysian market.”

Robinsons employees have today been informed by management and the provisional liquidators of this announcement. They have been assured that the provisional liquidators will now work to maximise returns to creditors, including employees. Robinsons management has ensured that employees are supported with a payment in keeping with liquidation regulations. Further, these payments will be made to them in line with the next payment cycle; well in advance of the usual liquidation process timing which would usually take months.

The liquidators will reach out to the relevant government authorities to support employees during this liquidation period.

Concurrently, Robinsons stores in Singapore, located at The Heeren and Raffles City Shopping Centre will also undergo a similar liquidation process with the appointment of Cameron Duncan and David Kim from KordaMentha as provisional liquidators.