Retail provider AuMake International (ASX: AU8) has announced a progressive re-opening of its physical stores from today to cater for an expected increase in foot traffic as COVID-19 social distancing policies ease.
Stores in the Sydney metropolitan area will be opened to provide speciality products and a tailored shopping experience to local Asian consumers and the daigou (cross-border exporting) network.
Over recent weeks AuMake has experienced significant online sales activity led by its China tourism partnership network Broadway Online, which has a focus on premium products in the health supplement, skincare and cosmetics categories and intends to expand into premium foods and wine.
AuMake executive chairman Keong Chan said the company remains committed to providing a “highly-trusted, native-language physical and online shopping experience” for Asian shoppers in Australia.
“The re-opening of our key physical stores will allow shoppers to access our range of authentic Australian and New Zealand-made products which have been specifically designed and stocked to meet their consumption patterns,” he said.
“Broadway Online extends our reach and leverages our network of travel agent partners in mainland China while our growing online presence will drive revenue growth over the medium term and will complement the premium service we deliver in our physical stores.”
COVID-19 has seen AuMake turn its focus to the development of its online sales channels.
The re-focus led to strong online performance with total online gross margin increasing by more than 80% over the last six weeks.
AuMake’s online strategy was underpinned by the launch of the Broadway Online platform which provides brand recognition and leverages the database of the AuMake’s network of travel agents in China.
The network has an extensive list of customers who travel internationally, have higher disposable incomes and are deemed to be “more receptive” to the purchase of premium Australian and New Zealand products.
“Broadway Online provides a foundation for our future sustainable growth in the online market,” Mr Chan said.
“It does not directly compete with other large existing online platforms which predominantly focus on lower margin, high-volume products such as infant formula and well-known health supplement brands.”
“[We plan for it to be] a permanent feature of the AuMake business and will complement the eventual return of Asian tourists to our physical stores.”
Mr Chan said AuMake remains “entirely committed” to the Asian tourism industry and is working closely with its tourism network in China to ensure that it is positioned to benefit from growth opportunities which will become available with the eventual return of Asian tourists to Australia and New Zealand.