COM368: Discuss the importance of strategic communication to the revived Robinsons retail brand in the form of the Robinsons Department Stores Online in today’s retail environment. Strategic Communication assignment

COM368: Discuss the importance of strategic communication to the revived Robinsons retail brand in the form of the Robinsons Department Stores Online in today’s retail environment. Strategic Communication assignment

Module / Subject / School:

COM368 Strategic communication

Singapore University of Social Sciences


Robinsons to reopen as online mall on June 24
By Ang Qing

SINGAPORE – After exiting Singapore in January, 163-year-old Robinsons will make a comeback as an online department store.

In a statement on Thursday (June 10), the iconic retailer announced that it was acquired by wholesale supplier Canningvale Australia, owned by the Prainito family, this month.

The newly independent Robinsons Department Stores Online has already hired two former Robinsons employees and will employ Singaporeans to “fill various positions across the business,” it added.

The website will go live on June 24.

With its head office based in Singapore, the business will be led by Mr Jordan Prainito, the former managing director of Canningvale Australia.

The incoming managing director of Robinsons Singapore said: “I’m excited to be relaunching such an iconic brand. The brand has a rich history, and it strongly resonates with Singaporean and Southeast Asian customers. It just needs to be catapulted into the 21st century.”

The online department store will feature more than 200 brands as well as collaborations that will debut exclusively on the new platform.

On digitalisation, Mr Prainito said: “We’ll apply the learnings from Canningvale’s digital transformation, where we saw e-commerce sales increase tenfold in under five years.” “This was achieved through a combination of sourcing expertise, range clarification, system automation, marketing expertise and a forensic focus on our customers.”

Founded in 1858 by Philip Robinson and James Gaborian Spicer, Robinsons began as a “family warehouse” selling items such as food and women’s hats.

Despite being hit twice by Japanese bombs during World War II in 1941 and gutted by a massive fire in 1972, the department store survived as an iconic shopping destination in Singapore.

However, years of declining sales and rising competition from e- ommerce sent the retailer into voluntary liquidation on Oct 30 last year.

The retail industry in Singapore has been facing intense competition from e-commerce platforms in the last decade or so. The article above outlines yet another business closure of a well-known and well-established retailer. It is no surprise that Robinsons has resurfaced as an online-only store. Moving forward in today’s post-pandemic environment, such online retailers will be closely watched to see how they adapt to market and customer trends to survive.

Assume that you are the Strategic Communication Manager for Robinsons Department Stores Online. Your role is to promote this online store and raise its profile for those who are familiar with shopping online.

a) Discuss the importance of strategic communication to the revived Robinsons retail brand in the form of the Robinsons Department Stores Online in today’s retail environment. (20 marks)

b) Analyse why and how Robinsons can use brand storytelling through creative online content to raise the profile of the revived Robinsons retail brand in Singapore’s post-pandemic retail industry.
(20 marks)

c) Develop a three-month-long strategic communication plan that contains recommendations for an online strategy and tactics to distinguish Robinson’s online store from the competition and raise its profile among customers and the local news media. Your plan should also formulate an online corporate social responsibility initiative to earn the goodwill of key stakeholders, such as the online retailer’s employees and customers. (50 marks)

d) Evaluate the proposed online communications tactics from your proposed strategic communication plan against some popular online tactics commonly used by online retailers. In addition, explain how your proposed tactics are different or unique. (10 marks)


Your ECA is a proposal for strategic communication through the use of an integrated marketing communication approach. Your proposal should contain recommendations for a planning process that includes suggestions for research, programme planning, a feasible communication budget, and an evaluation of your recommendations.

You may wish to assume that your readers:

  • Are generally well informed about strategic communication.
  • Know little about the strategy and approach you are adopting for your proposal.
  • Expect to review the rationale or reasons for your recommendations.

You need to conduct secondary research and incorporate relevant information about your organisation, e.g., its mission, products and services, into the strategic communication plan. The secondary research you are asked to conduct involves finding and analysing information from third-party sources such as market research reports, company websites, news articles, and other sources. You will be required to discuss this research and cite your sources.

Your ECA will be assessed on its content and quality of recommendations made in the proposal, including how well it engages with and applies the concepts you have learnt in this module.

Your ECA should have the following sections:

  • Title of your proposal
  • Executive summary of your proposal
  • Background of the organisation you have selected
  • Characteristics and dynamics of your organisation’s industry
  • Communication challenges faced by your organisation
  • Strategic communication plan
  • Challenges you foresee when executing the plan

The length of the ECA must not be more than 3,000 words, including quotations and in-text citations but excluding footnotes, bibliographical references, and essential appendices (if there are any). Your ECA must use 12-point font size, double-spacing, and one-inch (2.54 cm) margins on both sides. Include a word count at the end of the essay

Use proper APA style for in-text citation and referencing. For more information on APA style, you can visit http://www.apastyle.org

What we score:


Our Writer’s Comment 

This assignment tests students on their understanding of strategic communications.

Based on the assignment requirements provided, here are some comments to help students score well on this assignment:

To score well in this assignment, focus on addressing each section with clear and strategic communication planning.

  1. Introduction: Start your proposal with a clear and concise introduction, briefly explaining the purpose of the document and the importance of strategic communication for the revived Robinsons retail brand in the current retail environment.
  2. Importance of Strategic Communication (Part a): In this section, discuss the significance of strategic communication for Robinsons Department Stores Online. Highlight how effective strategic communication can help the brand stand out in the competitive online retail market. Support your arguments with relevant examples and industry trends.
  3. Brand Storytelling (Part b): Analyze the potential of brand storytelling through creative online content to raise the profile of Robinsons Department Stores Online. Emphasize the value of engaging storytelling techniques to connect with customers on an emotional level. Explore how this approach can align with post-pandemic retail industry trends and the preferences of online shoppers.
  4. Strategic Communication Plan (Part c): Develop a comprehensive three-month-long strategic communication plan. Include recommendations for an online strategy and tactics that will distinguish Robinsons from its competitors and boost its profile. Integrate online corporate social responsibility initiatives to gain goodwill from key stakeholders. Ensure to base your plan on thorough research and cite relevant sources to support your recommendations.
  5. Evaluation of Proposed Tactics (Part d): Evaluate the proposed online communication tactics from your plan against popular strategies commonly used by online retailers. Clearly explain how your proposed tactics differ or stand out from common practices. Demonstrate the uniqueness and potential effectiveness of your proposed tactics.
  6. Conclusion: Summarize the key points of your proposal and reiterate the importance of strategic communication for Robinsons Department Stores Online’s success in the current retail landscape.
  7. Formatting and APA Style: Follow the prescribed formatting guidelines, including font size, spacing, and margins. Make sure to use proper APA style for in-text citations and referencing throughout your proposal. Consistently cite all sources to support your arguments and demonstrate your research.

Word count is essential, so be concise in your writing and avoid unnecessary repetition. Ensure that your proposal is well-structured and easy to follow, with clear headings for each section.

As you conduct secondary research, select reliable sources, such as market research reports, company websites, and news articles. Use your research to add depth and credibility to your proposal, showing how you’ve applied concepts learned in the module to real-world scenarios.

Finally, make sure your strategic communication plan addresses challenges that may arise during execution, and propose solutions to overcome them effectively.

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