by AFIQ AZIZ/ pic credit: www.facebook.com
LIFESTYLE tea brand, Tealive, is seeing lower sales due mainly to lesser footprints recorded in shopping malls since the Covid-19 outbreak hit the country in January.
For the past one month, Tealive outlets in shopping malls have seen sales fall between 20% and 30%, Loob Holding Sdn Bhd CEO Bryan Loo said.
However, the decline has been offset by the take-up gained from the brand’s standalone stores and booths in suburban areas, where it has been rapidly expanding over the last two months.
“In the last two years, our sub-urban versus urban area (contribution) was about 30% and 70% respectively, but since then we have doubled down our expansion aggressively in the rural and sub- urban areas.
“Today, our suburban areas cater for about 65% compared to 35% in the urban city, so we aren’t much affected by Covid-19 because while city sales are going down, there’s a big increase in suburban stores that has offset the impact,” Loo told reporters in Putrajaya yesterday.
He said sales growth at the brand’s rural outlets has hovered around 20% since January.
The novel coronavirus, believed to have originated in Wuhan, China, has affected 181,556 people in 159 countries around the globe and killed 6,442 patients (as at press time), according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Malaysia reported its first two deaths from the virus yesterday, while the number of reported cases in the country jumped by 120 to 673.
The global pandemic has affected business activities worldwide due to voluntary and government-imposed restriction of movement to curb the spread of the virus.
In Malaysia, the Movement Control Order as announced by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin is effective today until March 31, in an effort to contain Covid-19.
Under the Order, eateries are allowed to remain open for takeaway or home delivery services via third parties such as GrabFood and Food Panda.
Loo said Tealive will continue its operation to provide service deliveries to customers throughout the restricted timeframe.
More than 100 Tealive outlets in shopping malls will be closed, but the company will continue to open its smaller branches that provide delivery services, he added.
As this will affect hundreds of manpower in the 100 shops, all of the affected workers will be parked at other operating stores or re-purposed to set up booths in groceries and supermarkets.
“We will also operate our shop lots on street level only for delivery and purely for takeaway. All dine-in areas will be closed.
“The outlets in LRT stations, petrol stations and hospitals will be running as usual,” Loo said.
Despite the government-imposed lockdown on the country’s borders, Loo said Tealive, which relies partially on raw materials from overseas, may not be severely impacted as it still has local sourcing for now.
“The next six months should not see any disruption of supply chain at all,” he added.
Loob Holding also announced it will provide 250,000 free doses of Vitamin C for customers from March 19, to be dispensed from all its operating outlets nationwide amid the widespread transmission of Covid-19.
All customers will receive one dose per cup, given that Vitamin C plays a major role in boosting the immune system, Loo said.