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Sasa shutters stores as it exits SG market, 170 employees affected

Cosmetics retailer Sasa International will be closing all 22 retail stores in Singapore to focus on core markets such as Malaysia, Hong Kong and Macau SARs, Mainland China, as well as its eCommerce business.

According to Sasa, the group’s performance in Singapore has been less than satisfactory for many years, and has recorded losses for six consecutive years. In order to improve the performance of the Singapore market, the company took measures in recent years to restructure the local management team and enhance store display and product mix. However, the company said the results were far from satisfactory. For the six months ended 30 September 2019, the group’s turnover for the Singapore operations was HK$99.4 million, a decline of 4.6% on a year-on-year basis in local currency terms.

A total of approximately 170 employees will be affected by store closures, and a Sasa spokesperson told Marketing that the company will fully compensate affected staff in accordance with local employment laws and regulations. However, the spokesperson added that the termination of the leases in Singapore will not have any significant impact on the overall operations of the group. Sasa International operates a total of 265 stores, and only 22 are located in Singapore.

According to Sasa, the closure of its business in Singapore will help improve the performance and profitability of its remaining businesses. In addition, the management team that currently manages both the Singapore and Malaysia markets will shift focus to develop the Malaysia market which presents higher potentials and profitability.

In the meantime, the group aims to expedite the store expansion in Mainland China as well as the development of eCommerce business, and work towards bringing back the lost traffic and sales in Hong Kong. Sasa in recent times saw a drastic decline in Mainland tourist arrivals, and looks to focus resources on its core markets and businesses with growth potentials, in order to restore profitability promptly.

In addition, the group also aims to integrate its online and offline businesses for providing better customer experiences and laying a solid foundation for the development of new retail model in the future. Sasa is home to 700 brands of make-up, skin care, fragrance and hair care products including its own-brands and other exclusive international brands. The group has around 4,500 staff across all its Asia Pacific markets.

Sasa Malaysia recently partnered with FCB Kuala Lumpur to launch Seri Bersama Sasa, the brand’s new platform designed to engage Malay female Millennials. Seri Bersama Sasa will feature weekly refreshed content ranging from beauty tips, make-up tutorials and product demonstrations developed in collaboration with beauty influencers – Elcah Hasha, Nisha Ezzati and Adlina Suhaimi. FCB was appointed by Sasa earlier this year to handle advertising and digital work.

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