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Sasa shoppers buy more, spend less

Sa Sa International says its customers spent less but bought more in the three months to December 31.

The group’s retail and wholesale turnover decreased slightly by 0.5 per cent overall, with retail sales in Hong Kong and Macau down by 1.1 per cent and same store sales down by 2.7 per cent.

But the number of transactions in its home market (Hong Kong and Macau combined) increased by 5.6 per cent in the same period, offset by a 6.4 per cent decrease in the average sale per transaction.

Simon Kwok, chairman and CEO, said the retail sales decrease in Hong Kong and Macau was below its expectations.

“Although the number of transactions attributable to Mainland Chinese customers grew by approximately 20 per cent, this growth was narrowed by the deepened decrease in average sales per transaction. Mainland Chinese tourists demand less high-priced products, resulting in a decrease in the average sales per transaction attributable to them.

“In addition, sales of gifts during the traditional gifting season in December were affected by the Chinese Government’s ongoing anti-corruption campaign. This resulted in a significant decline in the sales of premium products and holiday gift sets, and weakened the group’s sales performance in December,” he said.

The group’s retail and wholesale turnover in other markets (including Mainland China, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan and online at recorded a drop of 1.2 per cent during the third quarter.

The group had a net increase of six stores for its network in the third quarter, including two in Hong Kong and Macau, two in Malaysia, and two in Taiwan, while store number in Mainland China and Singapore remained unchanged. As at the year’s end, the group’s had 285 stores, including six single-brand stores or counters.

The sales contribution of house brands decreased in the third quarter, affecting gross profit margin.

“The overall local consumer sentiment in Hong Kong was affected by the prevailing social environment and weakened during this period resulting in lower sales attributable to local customers,” said Kwok.

“The group believes the relatively soft market will linger and we will continue to enhance our product offerings and flexibly adjust our sales strategies. The group is relatively cautious towards the outlook for sales in the fourth quarter.”


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