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759 Store Hong Kong closes four shops

Just three months ago Hong Kong supermarket retail concept 759 Stores was boasting a 48 per cent increase in sales and the opening of 57 new shops last financial year.

This month the chain says it will close four Hong Kong stores citing the lacklustre retail climate in Hong Kong.

The four stores are all located in shopping centres owned by The Link REIT which according to 759 Stores has refused to grant rent reductions during negotiations over lease renewals.

759 Store Hong Kong, the trading brand of listed business CEC International Holdings, positions itself as in between convenience stores and supermarkets, its primary point of difference its ‘self-import model’ of stock and uniform margins.

Its 759 Store and 759 Supermarket concepts have evolved since the brand’s launch in 2010 from just selling sweets and snacks into a broader range of low margin, high turnover lines across many categories, including rice and grain, non-staple food, frozen food, alcohol, pet snacks, household goods, kitchenware, household electrical appliances, personal care supplies, cosmetics, supplies for babies, toys, novelties and accessories.

Now CEC is planning to further diversify from its core snack and beauty products businesses, seeking a Chinese medicine license allowing it to sell packaged traditional soup in 100 of its stores.

There are 260 759 branded shops across Hong Kong. Some of these will be expanded from the smaller store model into larger supermarkets, according to a report in today’s Hong Kong Economic Journal, which quotes 759 Stores chairman Lam Wai-chun.

Lam said the company’s online business has already broken even and on Singles Day the company sold a record $20 million of products.

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