Digital drives growth for Circle K Hong Kong parent

Despite a challenging business environment, Circle K Hong Kong parent Convenience Retail Asia reports comparable-store sales growth last year driven by digital initiatives.

Leading the way were O2O customer-relationship management (CRM) programs, with membership for “OK Stamp It” (Circle K) and “Cake Easy” (Saint Honore) exceeding 1 million and 300,000 respectively.

Group revenue was up 4.6 per cent to HK$5.09 million. The core operating profit rose 7.4 per cent to $182,594 while net profit grew by 7.7 per cent.

During the year, the group’s O2O digital retailing platform FingerShopping.com saw moderate growth in gross merchandising volume (GMV). It also achieved high pick-up and payment rates at Circle K stores in Hong Kong and Macau. Beauty and personal care continued to be the anchor category, representing about 70 per cent of total GMV.

Turnover for the convenience-store business grew 5.4 per cent to $4.05 billion, with comparable store sales up 4.2 per cent. Turnover for the bakery business increased 1.9 per cent to $1.09 billion, with comparable store sales in Hong Kong growing 5.2 per cent.

Gross margin and other income as a percentage of turnover increased 0.3 points to 36.9 per cent despite keen competition in the retail market and high manufacturing costs.

At the end of December the group had 332 Circle K stores, with 10 opening in Hong Kong and nine being closed.

Eighteen months after its launch, “OK Stamp It” has attracted more than 1 million members and won industry awards for excellence.

At the end of December, the group had 102 Saint Honore cake shops in Hong Kong and Macau. Thirteen stores were opened and nine closed during the year. There were also 41 Saint Honore locations in Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

The digital CRM program “Cake Easy” had more than 300,000 members by the end of the year.

During the year the group obtained the franchise for Japan’s fast-fashion eyewear chain Zoff, opening the brand’s first store in Hong Kong.

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