Singapore's famous department store chain Robinsons announced on Friday that it will close its last two department stores in Singapore, after more than 160 years in the country.
Robinsons said it has begun the liquidation process for its stores at The Heeren and Raffles City Shopping Centre, following "significant shifts from offline to online spending" among customers and weakened demand exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, reports the CNA.
The company will also close two stores in Malaysia.
Originally known as Spicer and Robinson, it was founded in 1858 by Australian immigrant Philip Robinson and former jailkeeper in Singapore James Gaborian Spicer.
The two men opened the business as a "family warehouse" at Commercial Square, now known as Raffles Place, according to an article in the National Library Board (NLB) digital library.
It initially sold food items such as tea, rice, sugar, oatmeal, biscuits, crackers, cheese and preserved meats, as well as women's hats and dressmaking items.
Robinson changed the name to Robinson and Company after Spicer left the business in 1859 and a new partner, George Rappa, was brought in.
Robinson's son Stamford Raffles Robinson took over the company after his father's death in 1886.
In 1891, the store was moved to its new premises at 26 and 27 Raffles Place, and was registered as a limited liability company in 1920.
It later relocated to a bigger site at Raffles Chambers in 1941, and offered an air-conditioned cafe, hairdressing salons and merchandise such as men and women's wear, leather goods, confectionery and silverware.