During the second quarter of 2022, Sasa International Group’s retail and wholesale turnover decreased by 1.1 percent, with the group’s turnover 62.1 percent lower than it was during the same period in the previous financial year prior to COVID-19.
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However, despite the protracted impact of the pandemic on retail and wholesale turnover in Hong Kong and Macau SARs, the same-store sales increased by 6.7 percent.
Similarly, online sales in Hong Kong SAR increased over 70 percent year on year, driven by the group’s own online channels.
When Sasa International first announced its plans to expand its online business across markets in 2021, there was an immediate and evident increase in online consumption not only amongst Hong Kong local customers, but globally. Previously, Sasa International announced that it would invest more resources in expanding its online business and taking full advantage of its physical store portfolio by accelerating the collaboration of online platforms with offline stores.
Malaysia, on the other hand, has recovered to 77.4 percent of its pre-pandemic levels after relaxing its pandemic measures in April 2022. The second-quarter sales grew 248.0 percent year over year, and had recovered to 77.4 percent of pre-pandemic levels.
“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” according to Simon Kwok, Sasa’s chairman and CEO.
As a result of the COVID-19 restrictions in Hong Kong SAR and Macau, which began in late June 2022, Sasa continued to record significant declines in retail and wholesale, particularly in Macau. In July 2022, Macau SAR experienced its first citywide COVID-19 lockdown.
During the second quarter, Sasa’s online business reported a 1.7 percent decrease in sales year over year, mainly due to the pandemic outbreak in Mainland China that led to partial or complete lockdowns in different areas. Cross-border logistics and restocking at the group’s e Commerce warehouses in the Mainland were significantly affected by the lockdowns. End-to-end deliveries from Hong Kong SAR to Mainland customers were also delayed by the slowdown in cross-border logistics. Therefore, sales and same-store sales in mainland China fell by 9.8 percent and 11.0 percent respectively in the second quarter. During this difficult time, Sasa closed 29 of its loss-making stores with the hope of improving profitability. Though, despite these closures, China remains one of Sasa’s most important markets.