7-Eleven ‘excited’ to be first retailer to launch Alipay

PETALING JAYA: 7-Eleven Malaysia Holdings Bhd, which became the first retailer to accept Alipay, registered a pre-tax profit of RM10.9 million for the first quarter ended March 31, 2017 from RM22.29 million a year ago due to lower revenue and gross profit.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia yesterday, the group said its pre-tax profit was also affected by the increase in selling and distribution cost due to new store expansion as well as the minimum wage increase which took effect on July 1, 2016.

Sales were impacted by operational issues faced by third party logistics provider in delivering products to stores. These issues have since been resolved.

Revenue for the quarter fell marginally to RM522.53 million from RM526.25 million a year ago due to the ongoing softness in the retail market. However gross profit margin expanded 0.2% points compared with a year ago.

“In the first quarter of 2017, we have continued to hold our dominant position in the market. We remain confident that continuous store expansion, refurbishment, promotional activity, improved merchandise mix and expanded in-store services will continue to deliver positive results despite the challenging headwinds,” said its CEO Gary Brown.

The group opened 37 new stores in the first quarter, resulting in a total store network of 2,154 stores as at end March 2017.

“We are excited to be the first retailer in Malaysia to launch Alipay. Last year there were approximately 2.1 million tourists from China and this is expected to grow to about 3.5 million in 2017, making 7-Eleven Malaysia a very attractive destination for those tourists to shop using their Alipay E-Wallet,” said Brown.

The group expects bill payment services to continue growing, with Tenaga Nasional Bhd to launch soon, and be well accepted by consumers.

Moving forward, the group expects trading conditions to remain challenging due to continued weak consumer confidence/spending and current macroeconomic conditions.