SSI GROUP, Inc. is introducing a multi-brand e-commerce platform to pump up sales as traffic in brick-and-mortar stores remains dampened by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
In a virtual press briefing on Tuesday, the specialty retailer said it is launching Trunc.ph on Nov. 6, which will showcase some of the biggest brands under the SSI Group in one platform.
This is seen to drive up the company’s e-commerce sales further, which has already grown more than 400% for the year-to-date period.
“We’re giving our consumers options in the way they shop in our stores… There’s no hiding the fact that the e-commerce industry as a whole has seen an exponential growth in sales since the lockdown,” SSI Group President Anthony T. Huang said.
“Our growth for the year from January until September was over 400% in terms of top line sales related to e-commerce. Looking at the future, our target today is over the next three years to grow our e-commerce sales to around 15-20% of our total sales,” he added.
The SSI Group posted a net loss of P476.29 million in the first six months of the year, reversing its P345.94-million profit in the same period a year ago, as its revenues were halved to P5.04 billion.
While the company has been recording a steady sales growth on a weekly basis, Mr. Huang said the SSI Group wants to continue developing its online presence to adapt to new consumer behaviors.
“The way we see retail in the future is that e-commerce and physical retail are one and the same. It’s part of the chain, part of the cycle, part of the inventory,” he said.
The SSI Group’s e-commerce footprint is currently limited to 10 brands that have their individual online sites and brands that are distributed in third party marketplaces such as Rustans.com, Zalora and Lazada. Trunc.ph is meant to complement these.
The multi-brand platform would feature four concepts: Trunc, which will gather the SSI Group’s most well-known brands; Trunc Show, for premium brands; Powder Room by Trunc, for beauty and skincare brands; and Trunc at Home, for home, living and food brands.
“The group’s ability to innovate and its ability to adapt, on top of the robust operating and financial foundation that it has built over the last few years, will drive our accelerated e-commerce strategy, as we seek to increase the number of channels through which our customers can interact with us,” Mr. Huang said.
“The group believes that our compelling brand portfolio allows us to create a unique set of e-commerce properties that can be further differentiated from other e-commerce offerings through integration with our brick and mortar store network,” he added.
Among the brands under the SSI Group are Gucci, Prada, Kate Spade, Zara, Marks & Spencer, Gap, Lacoste, Banana Republic, Muji, Lush, TWG, SaladStop, and Shake Shack.
In September, the company said it is allocating P400 million for capital expenditures this year, down from the original P1.2 billion budget to reduce expenses amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Shares in SSI at the stock exchange closed at P1.46 each on Tuesday, up 15 centavos or 11.45% from the last session. — Denise A. Valdez