+ Back to new stores for growth. There were net 3 new stores in FY22 (4 were opened and 1 closed). In comparison, FY21 saw only 1 store opened. The target remains to open 3 to 5 stores. With HDB ramping up the construction of flats there is more visibility in news stores. There are 13 new stores up for bidding until 1H24. Separately, the average size of the store is also larger with a minimum of 5,000 sft.
– Gross margins may hit a ceiling temporarily. 4Q22 gross margins were stable at 29.2%. It remains resilient compared to pre-pandemic levels of around 27%. The ability to raise the mix of fresh food has been the key driver to margin expansion. We believe Sheng Siong has taken market share from wet markets. The next phase of margin expansion will come from house brands. More SKUs are being added.