Suiwah plans more outlets

Group to upgrade Sunshine Square and B2B platform after February

GEORGE TOWN: Suiwah Corp Bhd is planning more stores, new products and fresh business initiatives to boost its growth in 2018. Group executive director Cynthia Hwang told StarBiz the group planned to open three more convenience outlets on the island by mid-2017.

“We will upgrade the Sunshine Square in Bayan Baru after Chinese New Year. The upgrading, scheduled for completion by Hari Raya, will feature a new Korean consumer goods and food products department,” she said.

Hwang said the group would focus on initiating its business-to-business (B2B) online platform after February.

“This is to complement the existing online shopping business for our customers, which is rapidly growing.

“The B2B on-line platform will enable our suppliers to source from us also.

“Our goal is to deliver a relevant, personalised and seamless shopping experience across all channels.

“We have made great progress and are well-positioned for future intersection with digital retail,” she added.

The B2B online platform, the new stores and Korean products should contribute to the group’s revenue in the 2018 financial year (FY18), according to Hwang.

“Business for the first half of FY17 ended Nov 30, 2016 had improved compared to the first half of 2016 due to the opening of a new supermarket in Jelutong and improved market sentiment.

“We are optimistic that FY17 ending May 31, 2017 will be better than 2016,” she said.

On the group’s RM1bil Sunshine Tower mixed-development project which started late last year, Hwang said the project would be completed on schedule in 2019.

“There will be a hotel, 270 apartments and office block, and a hypermarket under the Sunshine brand name,” she said.

Group revenue for the six-month period ended Nov 30, 2016 amounted to RM188.75mil, an increase of 5.18% from the RM179.45mil recorded in the corresponding period last year. Group profit before tax for the period under review was RM7mil compared with RM5.18mil previously, an increase of 35.26%.

Hwang said domestic demand continued to be the main engine of growth for this year, but growing at a slower rate.

“Consumers are feeling pessimistic about their future income and employment outlook,” she said.

Last November, according to Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions, Malaysia recorded a stable consumer confidence level in the third quarter of 2016, with an increase of only two index points to 89 percentage points compared with the second quarter of 2016.

Nielsen said although Malaysia was the 30th most confident country globally, it was the lowest in South-East Asia and it continued to be pessismistic about the future.

The survey involved more than 30,000 respondents with Internet access in 63 countries.

Consumer confidence levels above and below a baseline of 100 indicate degrees of optimism and pessimism, respectively.

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