SINGAPORE (May 4): Sasseur Real Estate Investment Trust (Sasseur REIT) has reported “strong first-day sales” of RMB47.2 million (S$9.5 million), for its annual Spring Sales. This is 411% higher than its first-day reopening sales registered in March.

Possibly due to pent-up demand during the Covid-19-induced lockdown, Sasseur REIT’s various outlet malls located in Chongqing, Bishan, Hefei, and Kunming reported a 129% increase in sales in 2020, compared to 2019.

See also: Pent-up demand drives optimism for Sasseur REIT as outlet malls reopen

The malls were closed between 44 to 49 days in late January to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in China. They were re-opened progressively from March 11.

The REIT’s annual Spring Sales are usually held for two to three weeks in April across its four outlet malls in China. Despite the slight delay this year due to Covid-19, all four malls’ shopper traffic has been uplifting, and “indicates a strong recovery with respect to outlet shopping,” says its statement released on May 4.

"The retail outlet industry has always been a reliable market for consumers to turn to during international economic downturns,” says Vito Xu, chairman of the manager.  

“More than 90% of our customers are local residents rather than tourists, and the strong domestic demand generated by China's huge population base can quickly drive up our sales after the outbreak. The temporary closure period has allowed us to conduct extensive internal strategic and operational reviews,” he adds.

Shares in Sasseur REIT closed at 3.5 cents lower, or 4.8% down to 70 cents.