Garfieldhug's Blog

This & That Including What Ails

An Extra Post Before Bedtime To Reflect On

on November 4, 2020

Everything is going up in prices except wages. Well, I cannot blame employers right now as the market is at its worst, ravaged by Covid-19.

Just this week, our iconic departmental store of 162 years in lil red dot folded, Robinson’s Departmental Store.

I loved this grand dame of a store and remember going there with my mum to get bed linens and towels as the origin of this store hailed from U.K. It acquired Marks & Spencer too and I was happy to get my cookies and clothes from Marks and Sparks as I would call it like the locals.

Their service staff are loyal and some have stayed as their first and last jobs, working even at age 70 years old.

I did a part time stint there to earn pocket money in between school before I went to pursue my tertiary education abroad.

Many reasons led to its failure – it started bleeding when it could not hold onto market share and in the last decade, it was bought over by a company in Dubai and this Dubai company added brand labels and Zara and Mango.

For now, no news yet on if Marks and Spencer, Mango or Zara will fold too.

Other retailers have shuttered too – Esprit and sporting outlets too.

The major reason I felt was rental. Bricks and mortar units cost a bomb and with growing changes to consumer preferences to go online and where online stores are selling items much cheaper as they had not rental to pay for a sprawling store front.

Plus Covid-19 killed it when tourists stopped coming in as Covid-19 hit.

I now fear the other icons may fall – unless they re-invent selves to become an online store and be like BHG. Apparently this BHG has done well to survive as it has both online and bricks and mortar shops.

I am sad that Robinson’s fell victim to changing trends and times. I sincerely hope that its staff can find re-employment too as it is tough not to have a job these days.


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