It's usually Naiise to see once-shuttered local brands making a comeback in the retail scene, but some may feel conflicted about this specific one.
Back in April, homegrown lifestyle store Naiise made headlines when they closed their last outlet at Jewel Changi Airport. And now, they're back in the game with a new owner — WestStar Group.
In an Instagram post today (Sept 16), Naiise announced that they will be launching their online store at 9am tonight as they "continue [their] mission in championing local creatives, designers and artisans".
Over 500 merchants will be featured gradually on the site and consumers can look forward to debuts from new brands as well as familiar homegrown brands.
For now, the brand will only be operating as an online store and there has been no mention of a potential brick and mortar outlet.
At one point, the multi-label lifestyle retailer had six physical stores in Singapore and Malaysia but they were all eventually shuttered.
In a statement to Today in April, founder Dennis Tay admitted that the brand didn't have the capacity to repay its vendors as it "never recovered" from the Covid-19 pandemic.
One vendor, Bespoke Parfums Artisanaux said it was owed around $10,000.
Another vendor, Freshly Pressed Socks, said that not only did Naiise owe them $1,300, around 850 pairs of their socks were not accounted for, which added up to another $2,500.
They weren't alone — many disgruntled vendors stepped forward to say that the issue has been ongoing since 2016.
Over 100 vendors also banded together in a Facebook group called Naiise Vendors to figure out how to get back the outstanding payments owed to them.
Eventually, Tay filed for bankruptcy and made the decision to liquidate Naiise.
Now, Naiise is back under multi-portfolio investment company WestStar Group, which has completed its acquisition of the brand's online marketplace, social media accounts and accompanying trademarks, Naiise announced in a Facebook statement today.
Under this new ownership, WestStar Group will focus on enhancing Naiise's online platform, the statement said.
According to Naiise, its "new and improved" marketplace platform will pay sellers instantly upon every successful order fulfilment and it is also currently working on a "buy now, pay later" concept.