In its second quarter (Q2) report, the retail firm expressed optimism over its performance in the South East Asian region.
Against the cost-of-living challenges in Malaysia, the group recorded a 0.3% decline in total sales but achieved same-store sales growth of 1.4% in local currency.
It operates 68 stores in the region, primarily in Malaysia. Despite operating 13 fewer stores, its offline sales were up to 79.6% of pre-pandemic.
The firm said it would further its expansion in the region by establishing its offline presence in Singapore “in time for Christmas 2023.”
In December 2019, Sa Sa announced that it was shuttering all 22 outlets in Singapore after recording losses for six consecutive years in the city-state.
It made the decision in order to “concentrate its resources” on its core markets – Hong Kong, Macau, China, and Malaysia.
It then launched a flagship store on e-commerce platform Shopee to serve the Singapore market in early 2020 before announcing its intentions to return to Singapore earlier this year.
Overall, Sa Sa’s post-COVID recovery has been positive. In Q2, it recorded a 46.2% increase in total turnover year-on-year to HK$1.097bn (USD140.3m).
Notably, it has observed offline sales increase by 47.2% compared to its entire 2019 financial year.
“As economies in the region rebalance towards a new norm, the group is staying agile, keeping a pulse on changing consumer behaviour and adapting operations and leveraging opportunities in the region accordingly.”
Growth was driven by performance in Hong Kong and Macau, which recorded 61.6% growth in total turnover.
The firm attributed the sales growth to the overall improvement of consumer sentiment, tourism recovery, as well as various promotions and the summer holidays.
It recorded that sales recovered by 45.7% compared to the pre-pandemic period.
Average sales per transaction and total number of transactions increased by 32.4% and 32.1% respectively.
Additionally, total offline sales in the market increased by 69.4%.
Macau was the primary driver of growth in the market, recording 104.6% year-on-year growth and 65.3% growth compared to 2019.
The company also unveiled three new stores in core tourism districts in Hong Kong.
In China, Sa Sa recorded year-on-year growth of 13.7% with offline sales recovering to 57.8% of the pre-pandemic levels despite operating 19 less stores.
Online sales were up 55.2%, making up the lion’s share of sales at 73.7%.
The firm affirmed that China would continue to remain its key market in the mid- to long-term.
“The Mainland China market remains our mid-to-long-term focus. We have continued to leverage third-party social media platforms and WeChat mini-programme to connect our offline store beauty consultants with customers in Mainland China, to enable them to shop and purchase online at their convenience. We are focused on continuously upgrading our Customer Relationship Management to drive OMO opportunities.”