Date
25 September 2017
Lam Wai-chun is looking for ways in which the 759 Store chain can overcome the softness in Hong Kong's retail sector, including seeking lower rents and diversifying into new product lines. Photo: HKEJ
Lam Wai-chun is looking for ways in which the 759 Store chain can overcome the softness in Hong Kong's retail sector, including seeking lower rents and diversifying into new product lines. Photo: HKEJ

759 Store closes 4 shops, diversifies business amid retail slump

CEC International Holdings Ltd. (00759.HK), the operator of the 759 Store chain, is closing four of its shops amid the lackluster retail climate in Hong Kong.

In attempt to further diversify from its mainstay snack and beauty products businesses, the firm is seeking a Chinese medicine license for the sale of traditional soup packs in 100 of its outlets.

The firm has 260 outlets. Some smaller ones will be converted into larger shops, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported Monday, citing 759 chairman Lam Wai-chun.

Lam said the chain has been seeking to cut its rental costs but failed to secure reductions in rent for four outlets in malls managed by The Link REIT (00823.HK).

He said his firm’s new online retail business has broken even since August.

But Lam said profits are expected to be slim given the high cost of logistics in the city.

The chain has rewarded customers with the savings in rent from consolidating some of its outlets and entering the online retail sector, offering sales at prices up to 40 percent lower than usual.

Lam said the promotional efforts succeeded in achieving a record HK$20 million of sales on Singles Day, Nov. 11.

[Chinese version中文版]

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