Replicating online success: Sa Sa targeting Malaysia, Australia, Europe, N. America with online revamp

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

Sa Sa eyeing opportunities in Malaysia, Australia, Europe, and North America. [Sa Sa International]
Sa Sa eyeing opportunities in Malaysia, Australia, Europe, and North America. [Sa Sa International]

Related tags retail Hong kong e-commerce

Hong Kong-based beauty retailer Sa Sa International is eyeing opportunities in Malaysia, Australia, Europe, and North America with a revamped international online store.

In recent years, the company has been pushing its offline-merge-online (OMO) strategy to adapt to the new shopping habits of consumers post-COVID-19. This greatly benefitted the company in its home market, which was crippled by the fifth wave of the pandemic.

According to the firm’s latest full-year report, Hong Kong’s online sales increased by 89.3% year on year to HK$182.4m (U$23.2m) for the year ending March 2022.

“In the group’s core Hong Kong SAR market, we have achieved good progress in the online and offline integration last year. The group is dedicated to further develop collaboration between the teams of online business and retail store business units, enhancing OMO functionality in an unrelenting manner to optimise customer experience and bolster sales growth.”

Some OMO initiatives the company has launched include a click-and-collect service, e-coupons that can be used both online and offline, and on-demand delivery services with foodpanda mall.

For the coming year, the firm said it planned to replicate its success in Hong Kong in Malaysia by revamping its international online shopping website.

“Through revamping Sa Sa’s international shopping website, we intend to extend our cross-border OMO service to Malaysia to tap the flourishing online shopping momentum and provide seamless service to customers.”

Building the online business in Malaysia would be more crucial moving forward as the company plans to hold back plans to open new brick-and-mortar stores. It currently has 72 outlets in Malaysia.

Furthermore, the international site would also give it the opportunity to extend its reach to new markets including Australia, Europe, and North America.

In its latest fiscal report, the firm emphasised that the online business would continue to be the core strategy to aid its “current and future sustainable development.”

“The group will continue to increase its online investment, actively expand online sales channels in different regions, and strive to build the brand effect of its exclusive products. Through the integration of physical stores and online platforms, it will move towards a more comprehensive OMO operation model.”

Chairman and CEO Dr Simon Kwok said: “To cope with the increasingly digitalised consumption patterns, the group actively invests resources to develop online business and accelerate the integration of online and offline operation, enabling Sa Sa to thrive in business transformation and create value for shareholders.”

In addition, the company said it would increase investment in building its portfolio of exclusive products.

“The management believes that building brand equity for our exclusive products will enable us to have more strategic control over our product portfolio, improve our product competitiveness and gross profit margin. This would be critical to our new retail model.”

For the year ending March 2022, the company incurred a loss for the year amounting to HK$343.7m (U$43.8m), compared to a loss of HK$351.4m (U$44.8m). Excluding items including government subsidies, its losses decreased by 41.5% compared to last year.

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