Shaking off the popular assumption that consumer spending slumps in times of economic uncertainty, Pacific Sogo Department Stores Co (太平洋崇光百貨) yesterday said revenue at its Fuxing outlet is set to beat the NT$10 billion (US$330 million) mark this year, making it the third department store in Taiwan to surpass that figure.
The company expects the Fuxing store to bring in receipts of NT$10.2 billion to NT$10.3 billion this year, compared with NT$9.3 billion last year.
After opening its doors to shoppers in December 2006, Sogo Fuxing’s revenue has gained momentum every year.
Revenue was NT$6 billion in 2007, NT$7 billion in 2008 and NT$7.9 billion in 2009, according to the company’s figures.
Surpassing the NT$10 billion sales mark would put the store on a par with Pacific Sogo’s Zhongxiao outlet, which is located across the street from Sogo Fuxing, as well as Shin Kong Mitsukoshi Department Store’s (新光三越) Taichung outlet, Pacific Sogo’s assistant sales promotion manager Janet Tsao (曹春輝) said.
Sogo Fuxing differentiates itself from its rivals in a number of ways: Instead of cosmetic brands — as is the norm — its first floor houses luxury designer brands and there is a garden on the ninth floor where shoppers can relax and enjoy the scenery and the views.
Pacific Sogo chairperson Sophia Huang (黃晴雯) said the Fuxing outlet has also seen a surge in business at its supermarket thanks to it being connected with Zhongxiao Fuxing MRT station.
“We see many office workers stopping by our supermarket [City Super] after work and purchasing groceries to cook at home [because they can] take advantage of the MRT,” Huang said.
The Fuxing store is the seventh branch of Pacific Sogo. An eighth is planned for Hsinchu next year.
Total revenue for the seven Sogo stores is expected to reach NT$42.35 billion this year, up from NT$39 billion last year, Tsao said.
While Sogo Fuxing was the first department store in Taipei to be dubbed an “MRT station mall,” the model has been mimicked by rivals Qsquare (京站時尚廣場) and Uni-President Hankyu Department Store (統一阪急百貨), which operate at the Taipei Railway Station and Taipei City Hall MRT Station respectively.
Like Sogo Fuxing, Qsquare, which celebrates its second anniversary this month, has not experienced Taiwanese consumers tightening their purse strings as much as expected.
“Our anniversary sale, ending this Sunday, is expected to see sales up 10 percent from last year to NT$880 million,” Qsquare public relations officer Kinna Li (李旻勳) said.
“Our mall is still new and appealing. It has a ‘cluster’ effect for commuting shoppers,” she said. “We are building a solid member base and offering attractive discounts for the anniversary promotion to boost sales.”
Qsquare forecast NT$5 billion in sales this year, up from last year’s NT$4.5 billion.