Retailers have to face up to the new reality of post-Covid shopping: An online presence is no longer just ‘nice to have’; it is about survival

On June 24, Robinsons, the 163-year-old departmental store operator, came back to life in its brand new incarnation — a “fully digital, state-of-the-art, vertically integrated online department store” called Robinsons Online.

Robinsons may have endured the Great Depression in the 1930s, stood up to bombings of World War II and even a deadly fire that gutted its store in 1972 did not kill the brand. Alas, it was the Covid-19 pandemic that dealt the final blow, forcing the brand to shut its two outlets here early this year, along with two others in Malaysia.

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