Homegrown retailer Naiise closes doors after disastrous financial year

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Founder Dennis Tay is expected to file for personal bankruptcy.

Singapore’s homegrown retailer Naiise has shut down after struggling to survive through the pandemic, with its owner Dennis Tay filing for personal bankruptcy.

In a social media post, Tay described the last few weeks as the ‘darkest’ time of his life.

“I cannot apologise enough to the brand partners whose trust I’ve misplaced, and to whom monies are still due. I assure you all that the situation remains so because of an inability to pay, and not unwillingness,” Tay said.

In order to stay afloat, Tay exhausted his savings and borrowed heavily from banks in the hopes to ride out the pandemic.

“I also signed personal guarantees for these loans, because as long as Naiise was still an ongoing concern, there was a chance that Naiise would be able to repay, however slowly,’ Tay added.

But he said he has now ran out of time and options.

“As a business owner, the blame for Naiise’s demise is mine alone. I’m sorry to the employees I let go. They helped build Naiise and I consider many of them friends. To those who are owed money, I am sorry I failed you all, and for all the inconvenience and distress this has caused. Apologies also to our marketplace sellers for shuttering operations so abruptly,” Tay wrote.

Naiise liquidation comes after the closing of its last physical store at Jewel Changi Airport.

In 2013, Naiise first came to the retail scene as a strictly online only seller before launching physical stores at The Central, Paya Lebar Quarter, Westgate Mall and Jewel Changi Airport.