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Naiise goes into liquidation; founder to file for bankruptcy

Naiise goes into liquidation; founder to file for bankruptcy

Source: Business Times
Article Date: 16 Apr 2021
Author: Lynette Tan

It owes vendors sums ranging from hundreds of dollars to five-digit figures for selling their stocks on a consignment basis, and has reportedly defaulted on payments since as early as 2016.

Troubled home-grown retailer Naiise has gone into liquidation, after closing its last store last weekend following years of late payments to its vendors.

The company's founder, Dennis Tay, will also be filing for personal bankruptcy. In a Facebook post on Thursday, Mr Tay said he had "exhausted (his) savings and borrowed heavily from banks" to keep the business afloat and repay Naiise's vendors.

He also signed personal guarantees for the loans, "because as long as Naiise was still a going concern, there was a chance that Naiise would be able to repay, however slowly".

"Unfortunately, I am now out of time and options," Mr Tay wrote, adding that it has been "an extremely difficult two years" and that the last few weeks were "the darkest of (his) life".

Last Sunday, Naiise closed its Jewel Changi Airport store - its last and largest in Singapore, amid an ongoing struggle to pay its vendors.

It owes vendors sums ranging from hundreds of dollars to five-digit figures for selling their stocks on a consignment basis, and has reportedly defaulted on payments since as early as 2016.

Naiise was also fined S$8,000 last year for late payments of Central Provident Fund (CPF) contributions for employees. Currently, it has been charged with another offence under the CPF Act, with the case slated for hearing next week.

The company's current predicament is largely due to the pandemic and the investment it made in opening the Jewel store, Mr Tay had told The Business Times last week.

Naiise opened the nearly 9,500- square-foot store, which spans two floors, at Jewel in mid-2019.

"As a business owner, the blame for Naiise's demise is mine alone," wrote Mr Tay, who started Naiise in 2013, in his Facebook post on Thursday. "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."

Source: Business Times © Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Permission required for reproduction.

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