Retailers, already struggling with e-commerce competition, have been hurt even more by the pandemic. The picture is bleak and there have been casualties. Will the year-end festive season bring some cheer?

Orchard Road is bustling again, as shoppers return with the new habit of whipping out their phones to scan SafeEntry QR codes before entering stores. However, the economic fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic has left a huge casualty in its wake.

After 162 years of storied history — bombs, fire, and economic downturns — the Great Robinsons Sale is no longer. Arguably Singapore’s most famous department store chain, Robinsons will be winding up after six consecutive years of losses and grappling with competition from e-commerce ventures and shifting consumers’ preferences.

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