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S'porean Company Naiise Shuts Down And Vendors Are Angry That They Weren't Paid For Years

Its founder Dennis Tay announced that he is filing for personal bankruptcy.

Cover image via Singapore Tatler & Naiise (Facebook)

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Singaporean retailer Naiise recently announced that it is shutting down due to financial issues, with vendors and traders still owed payments

On Thursday, 15 April, the company's founder Dennis Tay disclosed that he will be filing for personal bankruptcy.

"Some time ago, in an effort to repay Naiise's trade creditors, I exhausted my savings and also borrowed heavily from banks to keep the business afloat; in the hope that Naiise could ride out this period. I also signed personal guarantees for these loans, because as long as Naiise was still an ongoing concern, there was a chance that Naiise would be able to repay, however slowly."

"Unfortunately, I am now out of time and options. Today, I made the decision to put Naiise in liquidation. Naiise.com will cease operations entirely at 2359hrs, 14 April 2021. In short order, I will also be filing for personal bankruptcy."

Singaporean company Naiise has a store in Malaysia where several local vendors sell their work.

Image via Naiise (Facebook)

He apologised to his employees for letting them go and those he owes money for failing to pay them, adding that the blame is entirely on him

"It has been an extremely difficult two years, and the last few weeks have been the darkest of my life. I cannot apologise enough to the brand partners whose trust I've misplaced, and to whom monies are still due. I assure you all that the situation remains so because of an inability to pay, and not unwillingness," he wrote on the company's Instagram yesterday.

"I remain deeply grateful to anyone who has bought anything from Naiise. The last eight years would not have been possible but for you."

Dennis Tay, founder and chief operating officer of Naiise.

Image via Singapore Tatler

In light of the news, a frustrated local vendor has taken to social media to reveal that the founder made promises of payments long before the announcement but failed to follow through

Malaysian miniature artist TinyPinc shared that Naiise had not been paying her properly for her work since 2017. She had to resort to sending angry emails, which resulted in her being paid almost only once a year because they would delay it.

"My amount is four figures. Some vendors five figures. I never restocked with Singapore store once because they have been delaying my payments from the beginning," she wrote.

She added that she was on a phone call with Tay last month and he promised that he would pay her SGD300 (which she had received) and another SGD300 this month, along with the rest of her larger balance the following month. With the bankruptcy issue, she wrote that there may be no sign of the payments. 

The Malaysian outlet, however, had been paying her on time and she restocked with them often. When COVID-19 hit, she noted that they stopped paying her as well and all of her sales money for months was gone.

"Many ex Naiise vendors reached out to me telling me about his lavish lifestyle, spending what he doesn't have and all, even his wife Amanda blogs about it," she added, claiming that the couple has been using vendor money to pay their own paychecks.

Another Malaysian vendor also shared with SAYS that they were given false promises since 2019 on why their payments are late

Alwis & Xavier revealed that they had stocked up with Naiise in hopes of reaching a wider international audience. 

"We were given false promises and every excuse under the sun about why payment was late, and being a small brand and having no visibility that other brands were being told the same thing, we turned a blind eye to it as sales were coming in and our products were selling very well in all outlets."

"Being a relatively new brand, we didn't have much experience in the retail industry and bought into the excuses, at our detriment."

The small business revealed that they have not been paid to date and Naiise is now put into liquidation.

"We believe we are one of the highest owed brands at Naiise with figures reaching the higher five digits (SGD)."

Naiise was founded in Singapore in 2013 and had opened six outlets in its home country, as well as in Malaysia and the UK

The company was known for showcasing products by local artists and designers. It started off as an online store and soon opened physical outlets in all three countries. 

The items at the stores and online were mainly made and sold with a local twist. 

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