Mon, Jun 17, 2019 - Page 15 News List

TOPBI aims to boost e-commerce sales

CHILDREN’S CLOTHING:Chairman Zhou Xun-cai said the company plans to maintain 1,600 to 1,700 stores this year, raise single-store sales and renovate existing stores

By Kwan Shin-han  /  Staff reporter

TOPBI International Holdings Ltd (淘帝國際控股), a leading children’s clothing brand in China, on Friday provided an upbeat outlook for the second half of the year as the company seeks to take advantage of e-commerce sales channels.

“Our sales from e-commerce are expected to climb from 7 percent last year to 10 percent this year, as we plan to start selling apparel for one-to-three-year-olds through these channels later this year,” TOPBI chairman Zhou Xun-cai (周訓財) told the company’s annual general meeting in Taipei.

Zhou said e-commerce sales may rise to 15 percent next year and to 20 percent in 2021.

“E-commerce platforms and physical stores have their own customers and do not overlap,” Zhou said. “The main goal is to diversify our sales channels and provide customers with convenience.”

TOPBI sells its apparel through its mobile app, corporate Web site, and Chinese Internet platforms such as Taobao.com (淘寶), Tmall.com (天貓) and JD.com (京東).

However, physical stores remain the company’s major sales channels, accounting for more than 90 percent of revenue in recent years, the company said.

“We have been closing units with narrower margins at department stores and opening new outlets on main streets, where more clothing can be displayed and there are more fitting rooms for customers,” company chief financial officer and spokesperson Wang Kuan-hua (王冠華) said.

Wang said the company plans to maintain 1,600 to 1,700 stores this year, raise single-store sales and renovate existing stores.

It is constructing a new automated storage and logistics center in Suqian in China’s Jiangsu Province and expects to start operations there in 2021, he said.

TOPBI reported revenue of NT$635 million for last month, up 3.98 percent year-on-year. Cumulative revenue in the first five months climbed 6.62 percent from a year earlier to NT$2.61 billion.

The second and fourth quarters are usually the high seasons for children’s apparel makers, the company said, adding that the Singles’ Day shopping blowout and the promotional activities ahead of the Lunar New Year are major sales drivers in the fourth quarter.

Despite the company’s positive outlook and strong earnings performance, shareholders voiced displeasure over the low dividend payout this year and the company’s declining share prices, which averaged NT$85 this year, from highs around NT$170 in 2014.

The company declined to comment on its share price, but promised to improve its corporate image and visibility.

Shareholders approved a cash dividend of NT$3.15 per share, for a payout ratio of 27.25 percent based on last year’s earnings per share of NT$11.56 and a dividend yield of 3.66 percent based on the stock’s closing price of NT$86.1 on Friday.

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