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PETALING JAYA: Weekend traffic has returned to pre-pandemic levels of about 300 customers per day at 7-Eleven Holdings Bhd’s (SEM) convenience stores, which bodes well for further growth.
Its long-term growth potential is driven by 7Cafe stores and efficiency gains from in-sourcing of product distribution such as chilled products, as well as improved operating leverage at its food processing unit.
Expansion plans may be in the works to include more stores, including 7Cafe outlets and more store keeping units (SKUs) being added for its future growth, said Kenanga Research in a report yesterday.
The research house said it recently visited the 7Cafe store in Puchong and was “impressed’’ as SEM was leveraging on the ability of its collaborators to draw in and retain traffic.
The collaboration is with Niko Neko Matcha (beverage), BookXcess (discounted bookstore) and various imported beauty products.
These collaborators draw and retain the traffic in the store, resulting in doubling of the average ticket size per customer as compared to a normal convenience store (CVS).,
The research house has an “outperform’’ call on the stock with a target price of RM1.85, up from RM1.70 earlier.
The key risks to its call include a return of movement restrictions – as this will hurt traffic to the stores, if the playing field gets crowded with new entrants or aggressive expansion by existing competitors, and long-term implications from the generational tobacco ban.
SEM’s food processing unit QVI Foods Sdn Bhd is seeing its utilisation rate hitting 60% to 70% currently, surpassing its pre-pandemic level of about 50%.
Currently, it caters to about 1,000 CVS in the Klang Valley.
SEM has started in-sourcing the distribution of chilled products at its new chilled distribution centre and will improve its chilled product supply chain management, including inventory management.
A higher delivery frequency of 13 times per month per store can be expected, versus only three times previously under third-party operators.