For the second quarter from 1 July to 30 September 2022, Sa Sa International group’s retail and wholesale turnover decreased by 1.1% year on year. Compared with the same period of the financial year of 2018-19 before the COVID-19 pandemic, the group’s turnover is trailing by 62.1%.
Despite the decrease in retail and wholesale turnover in Hong Kong and Macau SARs, arising from the protracted impact of the pandemic, same-store sales increased by 6.7%.
In contrast, sales of online business in the Hong Kong SAR also increased over 70% year on year, driven by the group's own online channels.
In 2021, Sa Sa International first announced its plans to focus more on its online business across markets. It pledged to expand its online business as the pandemic had driven more online consumption across the globe, including local consumers in Hong Kong. Sa Sa International had then said it will invest more resources in expanding online business and take full advantage of its portfolio of physical stores through accelerating the collaboration of online platforms and offline store network.
Meanwhile, Malaysia has recovered to 77.4% of pre-pandemic levels due to a relaxation of its pandemic measures since 1 April 2022. Second-quarter sales grew 248.0% year on year, partly due to the low base of last year as a result of lockdowns amid the pandemic, and has recovered to 77.4% of pre-pandemic levels in the same period of the financial year of 2018/19.
Simon Kwok, chairman and CEO of the group, said, “In particular, we recorded year-on-year retail and wholesales growth for each month since the beginning of this financial year in Hong Kong SAR despite a net decrease in stores of 11 over the same period last financial year to 71 as at 30 September 2022.”
This increase was driven by local consumption and promotional campaigns capitalising on the Hong Kong SAR Government’s Consumption Voucher Scheme to attract consumers, Kwok explained. The Macau market proved particularly hard for Sa Sa as the group continued to record a significant decline in retail and wholesale due to the COVID-19 pandemic after a sharp spike in infection cases in late June 2022. Macau SAR faced its first citywide COVID-19 lockdown in July 2022, which also led to a significant decline in tourist visitors.
Sa Sa’s online business recorded a 1.7% year-on-year decrease in sales in the second quarter, mainly due to the pandemic outbreak in Mainland China, which led to partial or complete lockdowns in different regions. The lockdowns had a significant impact on cross-border logistics and restocking at the group’s eCommerce warehouses on the mainland. The slowdown in cross-border logistics also delayed the end-to-end delivery of goods from the Hong Kong SAR to Mainland customers.
In Mainland China, sales and same-store sales decreased by 9.8% and 11.0% respectively in the second quarter, mainly due to the pandemic outbreak and weak consumption. As part of the group's measures to enhance profitability through rationalisation of its store network on the Mainland, it closed 29 loss-making stores during the quarter. However, Mainland China remains an important market for Sa Sa.
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