Five brands that have exited Singapore

Robinsons is the latest brand to exit Singapore, but it isn’t the only one.

Naren Lee Sankar

Nostalgic Man, never giving up. Loves cartoons.

Published: 4 November 2020, 6:16 PM

Robinsons, a Singapore brand in existence since 1858, announced on Oct 30 that it would be closing for good.

Here are some other brands which have left Singapore:

1. Wendy’s



Known for their square shaped patties, the fast food outlet first came to Singapore in the 1980s before pulling out in the 1990s.

Wendy’s then tried again to penetrate the market with its return in 2009 with plans to open 35 outlets islandwide. By 2012, there were 11 outlets across the city.

Sadly, not all dreams come true as Wendy’s pulled out once again in 2015. Hopefully Wendy’s will be back for another attempt one day and let the fans in Singapore say: “Now That’s Better.”

2. Esprit

Esprit closed its outlets in Singapore earlier this year. PHOTO CREDIT: FACEBOOK/ESPRIT ASIA


The Hong Kong-listed brand came to Singapore in the 1980s and won the hearts of many through their well made clothes and the brand’s core values of sustainability, equality and freedom of choice.

Notably, Esprit in the 1990s had its “Real People Campaign”, where the brand featured their own team of people wearing Esprit’s clothes made of 100% organic cotton.

Unfortunately, Esprit pulled out of Singapore earlier this year due to the financial losses brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

3. Dairy Queen

Dairy Queen gives a blizzard flavour extra special recognition monthly, sometimes using the promotion to introduce new flavours. PHOTO CREDIT: FACEBOOK/DAIRY QUEEN


Who wants to see their ice cream served upside down? Apparently many.

Garnering a fan base for their “blizzard of the month” promotion and serving their ice cream upside down to customers, this American ice cream chain enjoyed a cool five years in Singapore from 2011 until 2016.

A blizzard can still be enjoyed throughout the rest of Asia in places such as Thailand and Indonesia. Here’s hoping that it will find its way back to Singapore one day.

4. Carrefour

Carrefour was founded in 1958. PHOTO CREDIT: FACEBOOK/CARREFOUR


The first retailer to introduce the hypermarket format to Singapore in 1997, this brand had difficulties competing with other supermarkets such as Giant and FairPrice, which had outlets islandwide in contrast to Carrefour’s only two outlets at Suntec and Plaza Singapura.

The fact that there’s a Giant hypermarket now at Suntec is pretty ironic due to the hypermart concept working for them but not Carrefour. As Emily from the Netflix series, Emily in Paris would say: “C’est la vie!” (It’s life).

5. Borders

The Bookstore giant was founded in 1971. PHOTO CREDIT: FACEBOOK/BORDERS SINGAPORE


With its free-to-browse books, one could really lose track of time in Borders reading book after book. Borders Singapore opened in 1997 at Wheelock Place and in 2007 at Parkway Parade.

In 2011, Borders Singapore first closed its Wheelock Place followed by its Parkway Store about a month later.

The Borders Singapore franchise was then acquired by Popular Holdings, who later opened a Borders at Westgate. However, it was decided soon after to convert that store into a Popular Bookstore, permanently closing the book on Borders Singapore.

It is not all sad though, some brands have been able to make a comeback in Singapore. These include A&W (Singapore’s first fast food chain which operated from 1966 to 2003 before returning to the country in 2019) and Beard Papa (serving freshly baked cream puffs from 2008 to 2011 before returning in 2015).

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