Photo: naiise.com

Naiise, the multi-label retailer that went against the mainstream and evolved from an online presence to a brick-and-mortar retailer, is not in a good spot as of now.

The retailer has five stores locally, two which opened in 2019 at Paya Lebar Quarter and Jewel Changi Airport. It also has a store in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and manages the retail floor at Design Orchard, a creative facility for nurturing local designers established jointly by Enterprise Singapore, Singapore Tourism Board and JTC Corporation.

Even though Naiise is the largest selling platform for local designers, a few homegrown brands have cut back on supplies or pulled out in recent weeks.

Speaking to the Straits Time, ten vendors detailed the chasing of payment for years, with owed sales in the thousands of dollar. Recently, half of the vendors have begun pulling their stock out due to the financial difficulties of Naiise.

Freshly Pressed Socks, a budding local brand, benefited by using Naiise to sell its quirky designs when it started business in 2015.

Freshly Pressed Socks has since decided to terminate its relationship with Naiise three weeks ago: “When we first started out, a lot of people found out about us through Naiise, and we will always be grateful for that. But it’s no longer sustainable to work with them,” Freshly Pressed Socks told the Straits Times.

Vendors mentioned that troubles started brewing since 2016, as Naiise was starting to stock more products.

Gradually, consistent payment delays, late sales reports, evasive replies and accounting discrepancies started becoming the norm and small firms were also crippled by their interrupted cashflow.

Dennis Tay, the founder of Naiise remarked that the company was hiring more workers into the finance team as well as dealing with administrative issues. Naiise is challenging to manage due to its large scale, stocking up around 800 brands, of them 600 are local brands.

“I do get messages sometimes about payment. Usually I look into it and speak to the finance team to get it resolved,” Mr Tay added, and he apologised for “delayed payments to some of our brands”.

Cash flow conditions have been tough even with operating revenues increasing more than 40 per cent year-on-year, he further remarked.

However, Design Orchard has not experienced payment problems to brands for sales. Naiise will strive to ensure the payments are made swiftly, “Amid a challenging retail environment in 2019, we have helped more than 60 per cent of our brands achieve positive year-on-year sales growth last year.”

Many vendors reasoned that they stuck with Naiise because it is one of the only few platforms for local creatives.

The founder of homeware retailer and craft studio and Concrete Everything, Alvin Chan commented that “it’s a real problem that designers don’t have avenues to sell their stuff.” Concrete Everything has pulled out last month after not getting payment since February 2019 with amounts owed between $800 and $1,000.

Anonymous vendors mentioned their ongoing negotiations and agreements with Naiise and their worries over the company’s cashflow problems. One of them also remarked that “if you don’t say anything, they don’t pay you.”

Naiise also owed a five figure amount to another vendor who entrusted goods from several brands to Naiise. The vendor told the company that it too is pulling out because “they say they’re supporting local and helping the design scene but they’re not paying us”.

A former worker at Naiise recalled that the firm grew rapidly in 2015 despite the lack in clear direction. By 2016, delays started occurring in the payments to both employees and vendors.

Subscribe
Notify of
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
You May Also Like

Overnight queue by parents to secure places at pre-school

By Terry Xu It is reported by Channel News Asia  that eager parents…

Foreign worker dormitory linked to grassroots gains $70m in valuation after govt approves redevelopment plan on 10 Feb

It was announced on today that the number of new COVID-19 cases…

蓝彬明抱怨送餐员问题被政治化 吴明盛反驳“让7千人丢饭碗才严重”

本月12日,交通部高级政务部长暨盛港西单选区议员蓝彬明,会见约300名使用电动滑板车的送餐员。这些送餐员申诉电动滑板车禁令对他们的生计带来严重影响。 在一个多小时的闭门对话会上,送餐员提出许多意见,如让他们考取电板车执照,甚至在人行道上清楚划线区,分行人和电板车能使用的空间,并抱着当局可撤回禁用人行道禁令的希望。 蓝彬明医生认为,在基础设施未得到良好的提升前,目前还是必须以行人的安全为主,并表示不能接受另一起因电动滑板车相关的致命事故,但他随后也表明,政府仍然会认真看待送餐员生计,尽管目前提出了补救措施,但他也知道无法在一时间让所有人都满意。 不过,他在个人脸书贴文中也指出,现场有反对党成员将问题政治化和炒作在场人士情绪,认为“这是不负责任和可憎的。”,并指这么做对任何人都没有帮助,也在此时理应协助送餐员群体的当儿分散注意力。 虽然他未指名道姓,惟据出席者表示,有关反对党成员是人民力量党秘书长吴明盛。而吴明盛在早前的贴文也证实,自己在一些脸书网友的盛情邀请下,到两场行动党议员的对话会上“踢馆”。据了解他先是到贸工部兼教育部高级政务部长徐芳达,在大巴窑的会见选民活动,之后赶赴蓝彬明医生的对话会现场。 他表示自己在现场对蓝彬明医生提出疑问,指“没有十全十美方案”,车祸也常发生为何不见汽车被禁?也质问需检视个人代步工具对社会带来的效益,如果没有,禁之;如果有,则看看如何安全的使用。 他表示自己等候蓝彬明解答了民众的提问,后者也解释700万元津贴如何帮助送餐员等。当他要提出最后一道问题时,后者拒绝了。 “于是我问在场送餐员,他们是否要我问最后一道问题?他们喊道“要”。”吴明盛指若让送餐员把电动滑板车换成电动脚车,不过是把问题从人行道搬到马路上,让送餐员面对车祸事故的风险。 对于蓝彬明在脸书上的抱怨,吴明盛在脸书录视频反驳自己没政治化议题,反指“人们的温饱是政治,饭碗是政治,当你打破7千人的饭碗,那才是严峻的政治状况。”他也质疑让送餐员改用其他代步工具是否能解决问题。 在另一则中文贴文,他也反驳所谓他“煽动在场人情绪”的说法,反指是蓝彬明无法说服众人;而当后者不允许自己发问最后一道问题时,“我为了尊重与会者,特别问了他们到底要不要我发问,全场起哄喊要,我也只是遵从他们的意愿发问罢了。我何以“煽动”众人了?” 此外,他也认可个人代步工具也带来新的经济文化和商机,让一些家庭可以自力更生,减少社会问题;再者他认为送餐员等弱势群体需要一把声音来表达他们的困境,同时也批评当前政府拒绝去建设可供PMD使用的较完善基设。