SSI suffers P476 M loss due to lockdown

Published August 16, 2020, 8:00 PM

by James A. Loyola

SSI Group, Inc., the country’s leading specialty retailer, reported a net loss of P476 million for the first half of 2020 from the net income of P346 million booked during the same period last year.

In a disclosure, SSI said its net loss was driven primarily by a 49 percent decline in sales to P5.02 billion, as a result of the closure of substantially all of the Group’s stores from March 17 to May 15, 2020 in line with government directives intended to control the spread of COVID 19.

SSI reopened substantially all of its stores on June 1, and has implemented strict safety measures in all of its shops and restaurants to ensure the health and safety of both customers and employees.

Since reopening on June 1, the Group said it has seen steady weekly sales increases.

SSI has also seen significant growth of its e-commerce business, with e-commerce sales increasing by 375 percent during the first half of 2020.

The Group reopened its two Shake Shack branches in April and its SaladStop! restaurants on May 15. Both restaurant concepts have since enjoyed strong demand from both delivery and take out customers.

On May 21 the Group launched “The Specialist,” an at home concierge service, that pairs customers with personal shoppers who help customers shop from home, across the range of the Group’s brands.

“The Group has reduced capex for 2020 as we focus on managing our business prudently during these unprecedented times,” said SSI President Anthony T. Huang.

He added that, “I am optimistic with respect to the steady increases we have seen in brick and mortar sales and that we are ready to compete and operate under the ‘new normal.’ We are also focused on building out what is already the most diverse e-commerce presence amongst local specialty retailers, into a world class e-commerce portfolio.”

In September, SSI will be launching an online marketplace that will carry a range of brands from the Group’s portfolio as well as other brands and products to complement the marketplace’s online offerings.

“This e-commerce site will be unique in that it will carry a wide variety of brands from luxury, to casual and fast fashion, home, personal care products and food on one premium marketplace,” said Huang.(James A. Loyola)