Hardware chain Home-Fix is closing all its retail stores in Singapore

PHOTO: Home-Fix

Hot on the heels of Sasa's move to shut down all stores in Singapore, another well-loved brand is bowing out of local malls.

Home-Fix has been quietly shuttering its stores in Singapore over the past year. This week, its last two outlets in Tampines One and Tanglin Mall will be closing shop for good, marking the end of an era for the local hardware chain, according to a Business Times report.

The decision comes amid reports of financial trouble for the company, which reportedly owes creditors $19.8 million and is undergoing interim judicial management.

Home-Fix's founder and managing director Low Cheong Kee, 55, had also embarked on a "right-sizing" exercise in recent years, reducing the number of stores in Singapore from 23 in 2014 to 16 in 2018.

"The sheer numbers game doesn't make sense anymore... We believe that expanding into the services sphere will help us to reach out better to our customers," Low told Today last year.

The outlet at Tanglin Mall was shuttered on Dec 11, while the one at Tampines One will close by the end of the week.  PHOTO: The Straits Times

On the company's website, it said it was aware of inconveniences caused to customers in the process of its reorganisation and promised to "work non-stop to launch new formulas".

While Home-fix will no longer have brick-and-mortar stores in Singapore, it will continue to operate its online store as well as Homefix Squad, its home improvement concierge service.

The chain also has stores in Cambodia and Malaysia that still appear to be in operation.

Home-Fix founder and managing director Low Cheong Kee. PHOTO: The Straits Times file

Now one of the most recognisable homegrown brands, Home-Fix started out as a traditional hardware store in 1993.

By 2014, it had grown to an empire, with 23 stores in Singapore and nine in Malaysia, thanks to Low's business acumen.

Over the years, Low also introduced a number of initiatives to reinvent the company's business model, including XPC, an experience centre that offered workshops which taught customers how to use tools, build furniture and more.

XPC, however, was permanently closed on Oct 31.