Sa Sa presses on with Singapore, Malaysia expansion as it ‘set foundations’ for SEA growth

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

Sa Sa International has detailed how it intends to boost its presence in Singapore and Malaysia with expansion initiatives in order to foster growth in South East Asia. [Sa Sa]
Sa Sa International has detailed how it intends to boost its presence in Singapore and Malaysia with expansion initiatives in order to foster growth in South East Asia. [Sa Sa]

Related tags Sa Sa International retail SEA

Beauty retailer Sa Sa International has detailed how it intends to boost its presence in Singapore and Malaysia with expansion initiatives in order to foster growth in South East Asia.

The company has announced further re-entry plans into Singapore with three more outlets through its FY2023/24 interim report.

Sa Sa expects to kick-off its expansion in March 2024. It revealed it had inked a deal with developer CapitaLand to open a store at Westgate, a family mall located in the western heartlands of the island.

The beauty chain marked its official return to Singapore’s retail scene on December 7 after it shuttered its entire brick-and-mortar network in December 2019.

The retailer remained accessible to Singaporeans via official online channels on Shopee and Lazada following its move out of the Singaporean retail market.

In October, CosmeticsDesign-Asia reported​ that the retailer had plans to re-establish its physical presence in Singapore by the year-end festive season this year.

“Most importantly, the group is progressing on track with its expansion into SEA and is delighted to share significant steps regarding re-entry into the Singapore market,” said the firm.

“These three new stores in Singapore will re-establish our offline presence and complement our existing online business, setting the foundations for our continued growth in South East Asia.”

The firm expects turnover in Southeast Asia to increase as its new stores in Singapore commence operations in the second half of the year.

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Tapping Malaysia’s potential

Additionally, the company is set to expand its presence in neighbouring Malaysia.

The market has been affected by cost-of-living challenges, impacting offline sales “marginally”​ with a 3.2% decline, said the firm. However, it highlighted that offline sales have reached 80.3% of pre-pandemic levels.

During this period, seven of its stores underwent a renovation. According to the firm, the upgrades resulted in “reasonable increases”​ in sales.

This is pushing the company to expand with two more retail stores in Kuala Lumpur in the second half of the year.

According to the company, it has observed strong demand in Malaysia for fragrance and makeup products.

In line with this, it plans to elevate both its brand and product offerings, with a specific focus on strengthening its exclusive brand collection within this market in the upcoming fiscal year.

Improving conditions

The group has been on the road to recovery especially in its home markets of Hong Kong and Macau.

Sales have improved with turnover increasing 38.3% to HKD2.14bn (USD274.4m) over the six months ending September 30.

This was attributed primarily to the return of tourism in its home markets, which helped to offset challenging conditions in markets such as China and SEA.

During the period, approximately 48.6% of the group’s sales were from tourists in Hong Kong and Macau as compared to 74% during the pre-pandemic period.

Profit for the period improved to HKD102.4m (USD13.1m) after suffering a loss of HKD133.2m (USD17m) during the previous period.

“Further improvement in operating margins would be possible if tourism continues to increase, delivering further scale economies, or an increase in sales from exclusive brands is achieved. We will further enhance the operating efficiency of our stores and bolster the ability of the Group to earn profits for our shareholders over the long term,”​ said Dr Simon Kwok, chairman and CEO, Sa Sa International.

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