‘I am now out of time and options’: Naiise founder says he will file for bankruptcy

At left, founder of Naiise Dennis Tay and their previous flagship store at The Cathay, at right. Photos: Dennis Tay/Facebook
At left, founder of Naiise Dennis Tay and their previous flagship store at The Cathay, at right. Photos: Dennis Tay/Facebook

The founder of a local retail chain has finally spoken up about the sudden closure of his remaining physical store and monies owed to vendors. 

Naiise founder Dennis Tay said last night that he was putting his business into liquidation and filing for bankruptcy, days after word got out that the 9,500 sq ft store at Jewel Changi Airport was closing for good amid thousands of dollars owed to multiple vendors, who were mostly homegrown brands. 

“Unfortunately, I am now out of time and options. Today, I made the decision to put Naiise in liquidation. In short order, I will also be filing for personal bankruptcy,” Tay wrote online last night, adding that he had “exhausted” his savings and borrowed “heavily” from banks to repay creditors and save the business.

Naiise’s online store also shut yesterday. 

Dear partners and friends of Naiise,

It has been an extremely difficult two years, and the last few weeks have been the…

Posted by Dennis Tay on Wednesday, 14 April 2021

“As a business owner, the blame for Naiise’s demise is mine alone,” he wrote. “I’m sorry to the employees I let go. 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.”

Naiise, which launched in 2013, announced on Friday that it was closing its last physical store after two years of its opening. Its outlets at Orchard Gateway and Paya Lebar Quarter shopping malls already shut last year.

Several vendors who complained about not being paid included gaming company Capital Gains Studio, eco-friendly lifestyle brand Bamboo Straw Girl, retailer Freshly Pressed Socks, and cushion maker Nom Nom Plush.  

“Promises made to repay has all been broken again and again and we had no choice but to pull our games out early last year,” Capital Gains Studio’s Lye Wen Song Xeo wrote on Saturday. “Till now, we haven’t received a single cent and our monthly email chaser are generally ignored.”

Lye did not mention how much was being owed to the company since 2018. 

Debt collectors hired by perfume brand Bespoke Parfums Artisanaux also confronted Tay at the Jewel Changi Airport carpark on Friday, asking for the roughly S$10,000 owed. 

Naiise is the latest retailer to be embroiled in such financial troubles. A similar incident happened to the Robinsons department store after it announced in October that it was shutting down

Other stories you should check out:
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Golden Village to screen interactive film ‘Late Shift’ next week
Armed auxiliary police officer accused of robbing S$24,000 from Jurong moneylender
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