Cosmetic retailer Sasa International announced on Monday (Dec 2) that it will be shutting down 22 of its shops in Singapore. About 170 workers will be axed by the move.

Sasa stated that the performance of the Singapore stores have been “far from satisfactory” and recorded significant losses for over six consecutive years.

Singapore operations reportedly turned over S$17.3 million last Sept 30, a decline of 4.6 percent compared to last year.

Chairman and CEO Simon Kwok said the company plans to focus its resources on the Hong Kong, Macau, Mainland China and Malaysia markets, as well continue developing its e-commerce business.

The company statement added that Singapore seems to be distraction since the management needs to focus on maintaining sales and profitability in its home market in Hong Kong despite the decline in mainland Chinese tourists there.

“The operating environment … in Hong Kong has become extremely difficult due to a drastic decline in mainland tourist arrivals. In view of this unprecedented challenge, the group’s primary goal is to focus resources on its core markets and businesses with growth potential, in order to restore profitability promptly.

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“After careful consideration, the group believes that the closure of its business in Singapore will help improve the performance and profitability of its remaining businesses, and is in the best interests of the group and the shareholders as a whole,” Kwok said as quoted in a report by Insider Retail Asia.

The 170 staff affected by the closure of the 22 shops will be “fully compensated” as determined by Singapore’s employment regulations./TISG

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