When 162-year-old departmental store operator Robinson, weighed down with a net deficit of $186.3 million, shuttered the doors of all its stores across Singapore one last time, the retail industry could only watch helplessly at the demise of yet another of its own. Not long after that, Metro Holdings, another long-time operator in the local departmental store scene, publicly mulled if it should close its last two outlets here and concentrate on its property business instead.

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