Naiise save? Failed retailer returns for online second act

A mural designed by Jacqueline Goh and Natalie Kwee of 8eyedspud. Photo: Naiise
A mural designed by Jacqueline Goh and Natalie Kwee of 8eyedspud. Photo: Naiise

A bankrupt retail chain has been resurrected for a second, virtual life under new owners. 

Five months after it closed due to unpaid bills, Naiise returned to life last night after being bought by an investment group for an undisclosed amount, though it will sell online instead of through a storefront.

“Under new ownership, the priority will be to build and improve on the Naiise platform to ensure its long-term sustainability and scalability for a wider creative ecosystem,” the brand wrote yesterday, adding that it would champion “local designs, creatives and artisans.”

There are more than 500 merchants selling home, fashion, beauty and lifestyle products for now, with plans to add more eco-friendly products. The platform, now owned by WestStar Group, will pay sellers “instantly” after each order is fulfilled and is developing a “buy now, pay later” system for customers.

“I encourage consumers to support these local designers, creatives and artisans through this difficult period and beyond,” wrote WestStar Group CEO Ong Lay Ann, the former director of delivery service Honestbee, which dissolved after failing to pay employees and creditors.

Back in April, Naiise founder Dennis Tay announced that he was liquidating the company and filing for bankruptcy after its sole remaining outlet at Jewel Changi Airport closed due to years of not paying its vendors. 

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