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Canningvale to take failed Singapore department store brand online

Australian online retailer Canningvale plans to relaunch the 163-year-old Singaporean department store brand Robinsons as an online-only business this month. 

Canningvale has bought Robinsons’ brands, domain names, products, social media accounts, mobile applications, associated data and its historical website. 

The department store was placed in liquidation late last year and its last store closed in January. 

But Canningvale’s managing director of the past six years, Jordan Prainito, Canningvale’s MD, who spent time in Singapore as a university student, believes there is still an appetite for Robinsons as it was originally intended – a value department store – online.

“After conducting due diligence with former Robinsons staff, suppliers and customers, we got a sense that the owners had [tried] to position the brand as the Harrods of Asia,” Prainito, Robinsons’ new managing director, told our sister publication Inside Retail. 

“Historically, Robinsons was more of a Myer than a David Jones, so a broader offering that was more accessible to individuals in terms of price points,” he said, referring to Australia’s two main department stores. 

It will launch with 266 brands, including Avène, Braun, Royal Doulton, Hugo Boss Home, Jockey, Canningvale and Singaporean womenswear brands The Station and Joan Allen. Some of the brands have a history with Robinsons, while others are new to the department store.

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