A Sa Sa retail shop in Mongkok, Kowloon. Photo: Google Maps

Gone are the days when mainlanders visiting Hong Kong crowded inside the Sa Sa International outlet. The famous local cosmetic retail shop kicked off the new year with bad news.

On Wednesday, Sa Sa said its retail sales during the Lunar New Year period fell 4.8% with a 2.8% decrease in transaction volume. That news shocked investors, who dumped Sa Sa shares triggering a 10% drop in early morning trading.

The number of mainland tourist arrivals, who had been Sa Sa’s biggest clientele since Hong Kong relaxed the individual visit scheme in 2003, increased 31.6% in the Chinese New Year period.

In a statement, the company said “the big rise in their visitation did not materialize in terms of sales as the mainland tourists were more reserved in shopping.” It also went into length about the Sino-US trade war and fluctuations from the stock and property markets.

To address the changes in customer behavior, Sa Sa said it would strengthen its promotional efforts to stimulate sales. Mainland visitors going to Hong Kong are more selective in buying what they want.

Hong Kong cosmetics are known to be abundant in variety, authentic and affordable. But consumer patterns have changed with mainland youngsters switching to online sites that offer more varieties and bargains. Authenticity is an issue, but cosmetics are small ticket items, unlike gold and jewelry, which mainlanders still buy in Hong Kong, especially since this is a good year for marriage.

That is also why Chow Tai Fook did not suffer the same issue as Sa Sa.

In its heyday, Sa Sa – famous for its imported brand fragrances sold at a deep discount – leased eight outlets in Causeway Bay, a popular tourist spot. The high rentals it paid made a splash in the newspapers, but it was more than compensated by its customers.

Two years ago, in one of their Mong Kok stores, customers could not even get in because many of their mainland customers were carrying their luggage inside the store.

That problem now appears to be solved. In fact, there is more competition in the market as Miniso, a Chinese-owned Japanese retailer with a logo similar to Uniqlo and products similar to Muji, is selling perfume and cosmetic products, along with their home appliances and mobile gadgets, at low prices.

Sa Sa would probably take a long time to think about how it can earn more tourist dollars in a city always crowded with mainlanders.

Asia Times Financial is now live. Linking accurate news, insightful analysis and local knowledge with the ATF China Bond 50 Index, the world's first benchmark cross sector Chinese Bond Indices. Read ATF now. 

Join the Conversation

37 Comments

  1. Wonderful beat ! I would like to apprentice while you amend your website, how could i subscribe for a weblog web site? The account aided me a applicable deal. I had been tiny bit acquainted of this your broadcast provided shiny clear idea

  2. Hello there, I discovered your blog by way of Google while looking for a related
    topic, your web site got here up, it appears great. I’ve bookmarked
    it in my google bookmarks.
    Hi there, just changed into alert to your blog through Google, and located that it’s really
    informative. I am going to be careful for brussels. I will appreciate should
    you continue this in future. Many folks will probably be benefited out of your
    writing. Cheers!

  3. I delight in, lead to I discovered just what I was looking for. You’ve ended my four day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have a great day. Bye

  4. Hello this is somewhat of off topic but I was wondering if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have
    to manually code with HTML. I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding expertise so
    I wanted to get guidance from someone with experience.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  5. hello there and thank you for your information – I have definitely picked up something
    new from right here. I did however expertise a few technical points using this website, as I
    experienced to reload the web site a lot of times previous to I could get it to load properly.
    I had been wondering if your hosting is OK? Not that I
    am complaining, but slow loading instances times will sometimes affect your placement in google and could
    damage your high quality score if ads and marketing with
    Adwords. Well I’m adding this RSS to my e-mail and can look out for much more of your
    respective intriguing content. Make sure you update this again soon.

  6. Please let me know if you’re looking for a writer for your blog. You have some really good posts and I feel I would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d really like to write some material for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine. Please send me an email if interested. Kudos!

  7. Confirm you examine necessary . that will refers to your projects; in addition to remember that while you would like it it’s just about all totally free for the currently taking.

  8. Wonderful site. Plenty of useful info here. I’m sending it to several friends ans also sharing in delicious. And obviously, thanks for your sweat!

  9. You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be actually
    something which I think I would never understand. It seems too complex and extremely broad for me.

    I’m looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!

  10. Please let me know if you’re looking for a author for your blog. You have some really great posts and I think I would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d love to write some articles for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine. Please shoot me an e-mail if interested. Thanks!

  11. Hello there! I know this is kind of off topic but I
    was wondering which blog platform are you using for this site?
    I’m getting tired of WordPress because I’ve had problems with hackers and I’m looking at alternatives for another platform.
    I would be fantastic if you could point me in the direction of a
    good platform.

  12. This is a very good tip particularly to those new to the blogosphere.
    Short but very precise info… Thanks for sharing this one.

    A must read post! plenty of fish natalielise

  13. Excellent post. I was checking constantly this blog and I’m impressed!
    Very helpful information particularly the last part 🙂
    I care for such info much. I was looking for this certain information for
    a long time. Thank you and best of luck.

  14. Admiring the time and effort you put into your website and in depth information you
    offer. It’s great to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same out of date rehashed information. Fantastic read!
    I’ve bookmarked your site and I’m including your RSS feeds to my Google account.

  15. Greate pieces. Keep posting such kind of information on your site.
    Im really impressed by your blog.
    Hi there, You have done a great job. I will certainly digg it and in my view
    recommend to my friends. I am sure they’ll be benefited from this web site.

  16. You really make it appear really easy along with your presentation but
    I to find this topic to be actually one thing that I feel
    I would never understand. It sort of feels too complex and extremely extensive
    for me. I am having a look forward on your next submit, I
    will attempt to get the hold of it!

  17. I’m extremely pleased to discover this web site.

    I need to to thank you for ones time for this particularly fantastic read!!
    I definitely really liked every part of it and I have you book marked to look at new things in your blog.

  18. I like the helpful info you provide in your articles.
    I’ll bookmark your weblog and check again here regularly.
    I’m quite certain I will learn plenty of new stuff right here!
    Best of luck for the next!

  19. Hi there, simply changed into alert to your blog thru Google, and located that it is really informative. I am gonna watch out for brussels. I’ll appreciate should you proceed this in future. Many people will likely be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

  20. Thanks for the sensible critique. Me & my neighbor were just preparing to do a little research about this. We got a grab a book from our area library but I think I learned more clear from this post. I’m very glad to see such fantastic information being shared freely out there.

  21. I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great.
    I do not know who you are but definitely you are going to a
    famous blogger if you are not already 😉 Cheers!

  22. Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering if you knew of any widgets I could add to my blog that automatically tweet my newest twitter updates.
    I’ve been looking for a plug-in like this for quite some time and was hoping maybe you would
    have some experience with something like this. Please let me know
    if you run into anything. I truly enjoy reading your
    blog and I look forward to your new updates.

  23. Just wish to say your article is as astounding. The clearness in your post is simply spectacular
    and i could assume you are an expert on this subject.
    Well with your permission let me to grab your RSS feed to keep updated
    with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please carry
    on the gratifying work.

  24. whoah this blog is fantastic i love reading your articles. Keep up the good work! You know, many people are hunting around for this info, you could help them greatly.

  25. I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you create this website yourself or did you hire someone to do
    it for you? Plz reply as I’m looking to construct my own blog and would like to find out where
    u got this from. kudos

  26. Heya i am for the first time here. I found this
    board and I find It really useful & it helped me out
    much. I hope to give something back and aid
    others like you helped me.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *