Sasa to close all 22 cosmetics retail shops in Singapore, 170 staff affected

Cosmetics retailers Sasa International said it is closing down all 22 of its shops in Singapore. ST PHOTO: JEREMY KWAN. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

SINGAPORE, Dec 3, 2019, The Straits Times. All 22 Sasa International shops in Singapore will be shut down, the Hong Kong cosmetics giant announced on Monday (Dec 2), in a move that is likely to affect about 170 workers, The Straits Times reported.

The retailer said its decision came after its stores here recorded losses for six consecutive years despite its efforts to turn the business around.

“In order to improve the performance of the Singapore market, the group had taken measures in recent years to restructure the local management team and to enhance store display and product mix with a view to driving sales.

“Regrettably, the results were far from satisfactory,” Sasa said in a statement.

In the six months ended Sept 30, its Singapore operations recorded a turnover of HK$99.4 million (S$17.3 million), a decline of 4.6 per cent from last year.

Sasa said the 170 employees will be fully compensated according to Singapore’s employment regulations.

The latest move is part of Sasa’s strategy to focus on its core market in Hong Kong, which has become more difficult due to a drastic decline in mainland China’s tourist arrivals, the cosmetic retailer added.

It would also allow its management team that manages both the Singapore and Malaysia markets to focus on Malaysia which Sasa said had a higher potential for further development.

To make up for the loss in the Singapore market and the declining business in Hong Kong, Sasa said it will continue to expand in mainland China, as well as accelerate the development of its e-commerce business.

It said that it remains a viable business with sufficient funds for operations.

“The termination of the leases in Singapore is not expected to have any significant impact on the operations of the group, as the group operates a total of 265 stores, only 22 of them are located in Singapore,” it said.

As of Sept 30, its cash and bank balances also amounted to HK$788.7 million, which is “adequate for its operational needs”, the company said.

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