Singapore’s Commune to open 100 stores in China

Singapore furniture designer/manufacturer/retailer Koda’s in-house brand Commune plans to open more than 100 outlets in China by 2020.

Commune’s sales from the market hit nearly S$7 million (US$5.3 million) last year, accounting for 64 per cent of its total revenue. This helped push half-year profit for Koda.

For its next stage of growth, Commune will partner with International Enterprise (IE) Singapore to adopt an omnichannel strategy for China.

Within its three years in the market, Commune has opened more than 42 stores across tier-one and -two cities using a dealership model.

“With the support of IE Singapore, we intend to increase sales and knowledge of our customers through digital marketing and analytics, while ensuring a seamless shopping experience online,” says Commune sales and marketing director Gan Shee Wen.

Already the company is equipping its stores in China with VR capabilities so in-house designers can turn customers’ floor plans into a VR environment and so provide recommendations on design concepts.

Its co-operation with IE Singapore involves building a long-term e-commerce strategy and a seamless online and offline brand.

Commune plans to subsequently implement its omnichannel strategy in Singapore and other markets. IE Singapore is also working with Commune to expand to Indonesia, Taiwan and Thailand by connecting it to mall owners and dealers.

Spring Singapore has also been supporting Commune in the development of its VR software, customer-service training and mobile training platforms.

Meanwhile, Koda’s net profit was up 26.2 per cent to US$2.4 million for its half-year to the end of December.

Commune’s higher profit margins lifted the group’s gross profit margin to 34.7 per cent for the half from 29.1 per cent.

Overall revenue for the period declined by 4.2 per cent to $24.2 million because of delays in shipments to key export markets in the second quarter. Revenue contributions from Commune in the second quarter partly offset the decline to take total revenue for the quarter to $11.9 million, a difference of 11.8 per cent compared to the same period a year
earlier. Most of the delayed shipments were cleared in January.

Koda turned in a net profit of $1 million in the second quarter, down from $1.05 million for the same quarter in 2017.

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