Friday, 30 October 2020

I'm losing another part of my past again - Robinsons Closing


I can't show people the physical building that I've studied at Hua Yi Primary School before. 

My primary school does not exist in Singapore anymore. It was merged with Queenstown Primary School in 1991.

But I can proudly tell others that my primary school band was featured in our old $50 dollar bill:

I was in the school band for 1 year during primary 3. 

However, I suck. 

Crash got sound! That's how I found out. Wink.

This morning, another bit of my past got erased, again:

Robinsons to close.

Robinsons is the company that I remember my chequered career past with fond memories. I was treated "right" there. The soul and culture of Robinsons was something from a bygone era...

That's why those of you who remember the old Robinsons will see staff working 30-40 years there. Company do take care of us. We were treated like family.

However, I stopped being a Robinsons customer when OCBC sold Robinsons off....

The new owner changed everything. Only the name remained.

I felt like a "guest" in my own home.

Evidently, I'm not the only customer who felt that way.


Hong Kong has its Lane Crawford. Present tense.

We got Robinsons. Past tense.

162 years in Singapore... Makes one wonder whether Singapore would be around 100 years later... Don't you?

Shareholders of OCBC must be glad their bank divested Robinsons when they can; and not when they have to.

Quitting when we are ahead is not the same as quitting.

Evidently, the board and management of OCBC don't suffer from Buy-and-Hold delusions!


Do I own any retail stocks?




  1. I go to OG more often, but yup Robinson are one that I will visit too.

    Not actually surprised but I thought they would "revamp" and put up a fight before going out

    1. Sillyinvestor,

      Physical retailing is hard...

      This Wuhan pandemic merely hasten the transition process to the digital market place...

      But its not all doom and gloom.

      The shopping centre where I work weekends, I counted 6 shops that were closed in recent months.

      But EVERYONE of them have new tenants moving in.

      New retail tenants can negotiate for lower rents, finally!

      Retail REITs holders free better walk and look see, look see the retail properties under your REITs.

      Panic if you see empty shop fronts that are not rented out AFTER 3 months...

  2. The Indos & Arabs are not buy-and-holders too. ;)

    Hopefully they won't do the same thing to Raffles Hotel LOL!

    OCBC had to sell coz of new govt regulations prohibiting banks from owning more than 5% in non-core assets. Luck?

    Yeah Robinsons was the real old school where the staff used to have proper retail training & knew their stuff.

    The old manager who stayed at my childhood estate must be glad to be retired after all the hoo-ha in 2006-2008.

    1. Spur,

      Ah yes! Talk about luck!

      Robinsons, stakes in F&N, Asia Pacific breweries, etc.

      OK, I gave credit to wrong party. My bad.

      Big daddy should be credited with being hard and cold when it comes to matters pertaining to financials such as dollars and cents.

      Who cares about silly sentiments and attachments to iconic old brands belonging to Singapore's past?


      Don't buy-and-hold forever and ever!

  3. Given the current situation, I would not be surprised if other established retail icons like Metro and Isetan may suffer the same fate as Robinsons in the foreseeable future.

    If there is any consolation, at least there still exists a Robinson Road - right at the heart of Shenton Way ...

    1. The Sun,

      Everything comes and go.

      I'll have to accept it.

      No. A name is just a name.

      I have roads and a primary school that's named after my ancestors. But I have no connection to them whatsoever other than a shared family name...

      No, my fond memories of Robinsons is not the name.

      Its more about the relationships and bonds between me and my colleagues, the supportive bosses, and the wonderful ladies and gentlemen customers that I have served.

      People first.


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