Today, a topic of "all Kristen's stores are temporarily suspended" hit Weibo, causing netizens to watch. A reporter visited the company's headquarters and found that the building was empty. According to the company's announcement, it had owed 57 million yuan.
According to media reports, on March 18th, Christine's Shanghai headquarters at No. 33 Jinshajiang Road in Shanghai currently had only one security guard left on the first floor. The security guard said that his salary had been owed for several months, but it was also being paid in succession.
It is reported that all Kristen's stores have been closed since December 2022.
In March of this year, Christine announced on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange that the group was experiencing tight cash flow and operating difficulties, resulting in delays in paying store rents, supplier payments, and employee compensation. As of February 28, 2023, the amount in arrears was approximately 57 million yuan (RMB, the same below). Due to delinquency in payment for goods, several suppliers have initiated legal proceedings to freeze the Group's bank accounts, with a frozen amount ranging from about 3.5 million to 4 million yuan. The Group currently relies on shareholder loans to maintain its operations.
Christine said that the above situation had a negative impact on the group's operations. The Group has temporarily closed all its retail stores since December 2022. Currently, the Group is actively seeking business diversification and plans to solve the liquidity problem through appropriate financing methods (such as asset sales and equity financing) and resume operations in the first half of 2023.
According to the company's official website, Christine is a chain operator of baking products. She has produced and sold baking products since 1993, and is one of the earliest foreign-invested baking enterprises to enter the Chinese market. It mainly operates in prime locations and major cities in the Yangtze River Delta region, including Shanghai, Jiangsu Province, and Zhejiang Province.
According to public information, in 2012, Christine was listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, known as the "Baking First Stock" by the outside world. However, since the second year of listing, the company's performance has changed from profit to loss, and it has been losing money for 9 consecutive years.
According to Christine's 2021 annual report, during the reporting period, the company achieved operating revenue of approximately 292 million yuan, a year-on-year decrease of 27.70%, and a net loss attributable to the parent company of approximately 170 million yuan, with a year-on-year increase of approximately 54.1%.
Christine said in her annual report that the COVID-19 will continue to spread in 2021, which will have a great impact on all industries, especially the consumer industry. Consumer confidence still needs to be boosted. In 2021, the strategy of closing loss-making stores continued to be implemented, with 55 stores closed. The decrease in stores also affected the annual revenue.
In recent years, the competition in the baking industry has been relatively fierce, and new consumer brands are constantly emerging, all of whom want to take a share of the competition at this track. According to data, the market size of China's baking food industry reached 285.3 billion yuan in 2022, with a year-on-year increase of 9.7%. Analysts from AIMedia Consulting believe that with the growth of per capita consumption level and the adjustment of catering consumption structure, China's baking food industry has strong consumer demand, with the rapid development of upstream and downstream industries, and the market will further expand. It is expected that the market size will reach 351.8 billion yuan in 2025.