Soo Kee launches online sales portal

Soo Kee Group CEO Daniel Lim says its Aug 20 IPO suffered from a timing issue, but he urges investors to focus on the long term.
Soo Kee Group CEO Daniel Lim says its Aug 20 IPO suffered from a timing issue, but he urges investors to focus on the long term.ST PHOTO: YEO KAI WEN

Recently-listed Soo Kee Group has launched what it says is the first portal for a bricks-and-mortar jeweller in Singapore to sell gold and diamonds online.

Bolstered by such initiatives, the firm, which listed on Catalist on Aug 20, is "cautiously optimistic" about the outlook for profit growth this year despite trading nearly 40 per cent below its initial public offering (IPO) price of 30 cents.

It plunged 18 per cent to close at 24.5 cents on its first day of trading. Yesterday, it closed at 18.1 cents, 11.9 cents lower than its IPO price.

Chief executive Daniel Lim admitted that the IPO suffered from a "timing issue", citing market volatility. But he urged investors to focus on the long term. "After the IPO, we have the ability to expand our scope to make ourselves stronger."

Using the IPO net proceeds of some $31.6 million, Mr Lim is focused on expansion, including opening more stores and sales channels, and introducing more products through its regional research and design hub at its new Changi Business Park headquarters.

The Singapore-headquartered Soo Kee has a network of more than 60 retail stores at home and in Malaysia. It offers jewellery products and mementos through its three brands - Soo Kee Jewellery, SK Jewellery and Love & Co - to cater to different market segments. The new e-shop features its Soo Kee Jewellery brand. With the e-shop, Mr Lim hopes to better serve his local customers by allowing them to browse its vast inventory online before visiting the stores.

"Some of our customers live in Indonesia, Malaysia and Myanmar, and with this e-commerce platform, we can better target and attract them," he said.

Mr Lim conceded that while people are generally receptive to shopping online, jewellery is a different matter, where a high level of trust and personal experience is needed to complete the sale.

So the e-shop serves to complement the retail stores, and not to replace them, he added.

It will roll out separate e-shops for the other two brands later.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 22, 2015, with the headline 'Soo Kee launches online sales portal'. Print Edition | Subscribe