Gordon Brothers was engaged by KordaMentha, the provisional liquidators of heritage retailer Robinsons, to support the closure of the remaining department stores in Singapore located at The Heeren and Raffles City Shopping Centre with $22 million Singaporean of retail inventory. The project also included the disposition of furniture, fixtures, and equipment from the department stores.
Robinsons’ parent company had been financially supporting the department stores for several years but could no longer support them, triggering the appointment of liquidators. Shortly after KordaMentha was appointed liquidators, they appointed Gordon Brothers to assist them. Gordon Brothers was able to be on-site by October 31 to begin the project that ran until December 16 for the first store and January 10 for the second store.
Robinsons, originally known as Spicer and Robinson, had operated in Singapore for over 160 years. While not a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the shift in consumer shopping habits to e-commerce accelerated the decision to close the two remaining Robinsons stores. “Whilst we have previously supported clients in Indonesia and Malaysia, this project represents our first engagement in Singapore,” said Richard Ansell, Director, Retail at Gordon Brothers.
Gordon Brothers deployed a team of four retail professionals to manage the high-profile department stores and concessions in Singapore during unprecedented times. The team faced many COVID-19-induced challenges, including cross-border management of the project across multiple time zones through conference calls and video tours of the two stores. Since Singapore was a new jurisdiction, Gordon Brothers adopted a flexible approach, quickly reacting and adapting to rapid changes in relation to the ongoing pandemic. “The combination of Gordon Brothers’ retail expertise and KordaMentha’s restructuring experience enabled us to maximise stakeholder returns on this high-profile project,” said Cameron Duncan, Partner at KordaMentha.
Gordon Brothers navigated these challenges by harnessing our retail store experience and successfully delivered the store closure program on time with financial guarantees, maximising returns for the client and beginning a productive partnership with KordaMentha.