Robinsons to open flagship store

Robinsons to open flagship store

Retail group Robinsons is investing $40 million towards a new flagship store at The Heeren, which is likely to open mid-next year.

Robinsons is part of the Dubai-based Al-Futtaim Group, which bought Robinsons in 2008 and took it private.

The 150,000 square foot flagship, which will be dubbed Robinsons Orchard @ The Heeren, will also introduce food & beverage offerings.

Robinsons Orchard @ The Heeren will be operated under a long-term lease agreement with Swee Cheng Holdings, which is also making a "significant investment" in the project. The building will undergo a major overhaul from the third quarter of this year.

Also in the works is an 80,000 sq ft store at Jem shopping mall at Jurong Gateway next year.

Other Robinsons store locations include Raffles City, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands as well as Centrepoint, for which the lease for its 130,000 sq ft store at the shopping mall runs out in 2014.

"We do believe there's a business to be done in the suburbs if you get the right development, tenant mix and right ... developer," he said, adding that eastern Singapore could also potentially represent an opportunity for a store location.

While the Robinsons store at MBS is "not (doing) as well as hoped", "MBS retail is an example of a business that people will have to be patient about", Mr McCallum said. "The link between say, gambling and retail is not immediate."

Beyond Singapore, the group is looking into a second Robinsons store in Kuala Lumpur.

Robinsons also operates brands such as Marks & Spencer (M&S) and River Island, though it is planning to discontinue its River Island operations, which is a franchise.

Still, one of the challenges facing the retail industry this year is flagging consumer confidence as the global economy continues to battle headwinds.

Source: Business Times – 16 May 2012