SSI’s Q1 profit down 36%
Specialty retailer SSI Group Inc. saw a 36 percent year-on-year drop in first quarter net profit amounting to P110 million due to disruptions arising from the lockdown of Metro Manila and other key regions starting mid-March.
Sales revenues during the first quarter declined by 13 percent year-on-year to P4.3 billion, SSI disclosed to the Philippine Stock Exchange.
The group started the quarter on a strong footing, with January and February sales increasing by 12 percent year-on-year. However, the temporary closure of substantially all of SSI’s brick- and-mortar stores starting March 16 reversed the momentum.
“The group faces extraordinary operating conditions as a result of the (coronavirus) COVID-19 pandemic. However, we believe that our brand portfolio, our strategic store network and our core customer base will prove to be resilient throughout 2020,” SSI president Anthony Huang said.
Huang said SSI would also enhance customers’ ability to shop from home by continuing to expand its e-commerce business. He cited the opening of Marks and Spencer’s online store in May.
Several more e-commerce stores of various brands under the group will open for the rest of the year, he added. Other fashion and consumer brands under SSI like Zara, Lacoste, Gap, Banana Republic, Beauty Bar, Lush, Superga and Dune continued to take orders during the second half of March, with fulfillment of orders and full operations resuming on May 15
SSI has also launched The Specialist, a concierge service that allows its customers to shop from home, with personal concierges helping customers select items from different stores and arranging for payment and delivery of these items.
“During these unprecedented times we will be utilizing the financial gains achieved in 2019 in a prudent manner to address the challenges brought about by COVID-19. We look forward to the gradual recovery of our operations as the country begins to reopen and build on the gains made so far in the struggle against the COVID health crisis,” Huang said.
“We are encouraged by the performance of our brick and mortar stores, which have seen steady increases in weekly sales since reopening on June 1, while our e-commerce revenues have more than doubled since fulfillment of orders restarted on May 15,” he said.
SSI said its foremost concern at this time would be to ensure the safety of its customers and employees and of the communities in which its stores operate.
With brick and mortar stores open as of June 1, SSI announced a range of health and safety measures across its store network. The measures include providing staff with masks and face guards, regular testing of store personnel, regular and thorough disinfection of stores, strict adherence to government guidelines on social distancing for both store staff and customers and customer service procedures that emphasize health and safety protocols.