BHG department stores posting solid growth

Singapore’s BHG department store group has opened its seventh outlet as it trumpets sold sales growth across its network.

Photo: Straitstimes

Photo: Straitstimes

Apparently defying the city state’s widely publicised retail downturn, BHG is achieving solid growth through a focus on refreshing its merchandise mix every six months, running regular in-store promotions and other activities designed to stay “fresh and relevant”, MD Katsuharu Inamoto told the Straits Times in an interview.

“If we maintain the same merchandise for three years, we will die. Shoppers here are concerned about quality and price. They have the eye to judge and they know what’s in trend.”

He says BHG has maintained a “low single-digit” sales growth since last year.

In line with its merchandise focus, the retailer has just introduced two new brands to its line-up: Korea’s Ladykin beauty products and US backpack maker Mi-Pac.

The new Jurong East store which opened at the weekend, comprises 49,000 sqft over three levels. Two of those floors were previously occupied by rival department store John Little, which had traded in Jurong for 20 years, the third by electronics and furniture retailer Harvey Norman.

Inamoto said his company had been seeking a suitable space in the city’s west for a long time and was quick to take the opportunity provided by John Little’s departure.

“The mall has a unique tenant mix and lots of families go there.”

BHG’s history dates back to 1995 when it opened as Seiyu Wing On, a joint venture between Hong Kong’s Wing On and Japan’s Seiyu department store group. Seiyu later bought out its partner and the business was sold to China’s Beijing Hualian Group in 1995 and renamed.

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