Saha Group, the country’s biggest consumer goods conglomerate, expects domestic consumer consumption to stay bearish in the next few years because of the crisis, which has gutted domestic employment.
Thammarat Chokwatana, executive vice-president of SET-listed ICC International, the fashion and beauty marketing arm of Saha Group, said Thais’ well-being has not recovered even with eased lockdown measures and more businesses being allowed to operate as usual.
“The overall economy has been weak since last year,” said Mr Thammarat. “Despite the fourth phase of loosening restrictions from the government, we have to monitor the trading situation month-by-month, and expect poor consumer purchasing power to be prolonged over the next few years.”
He said ICC estimates a loss of about 100 million baht worth of sales this year, marking the first time since the country’s financial crisis in 1997. Sales were forecast to contract by 10% from last year’s sales of 13 billion baht. Prior to the virus crisis, sales were projected to grow by 5% this year.
“Our plan to raise our online sales to 5 billion baht within the next five years will also be revised and may take longer to achieve,” Mr Thammarat said.
Online sales of ICC grew by 300% during the pandemic, but their contribution to the company’s total sales remains relatively low at 25%.
Thitipoom Chokwatana, vice-president of ICC International, said online sales of ICC via Lazada tallied 200 million baht last year, with the figures aimed to increase to 300 million this year.
The company announced a partnership with three leading e-commerce platforms (Lazada, Shopee and JD Central) to launch Saha Group Fair from July 2-5. The virtual fair features over 20,000 items from 100 brands with seven main categories, including beauty products, baby products, household, grocery, service and education. The company aims to gain sales of 100 million baht from this fair.
“Joining hands with three large e-commerce platforms that cover a large customer base across the country will help enhance our group’s online business in the future,” said Mr Thitipoom.