|An Ito-Yokado outlet in Beijing. In 2011, its eight outlets in the city saw revenues totaling 2.7 billion yuan ($433 million). [Photo/China Daily]|
Firm targets upscale market to boost profits
Japanese retailer Ito-Yokado Co Ltd said on Monday that it will invest 200 million yuan ($32 million) in China this year for expansion.
"We plan to open new stores in Chengdu and other cities in Southwest China, as well as improve store profitability in our Beijing outlets," said Cheng Ning, public relations director of Ito-Yokado China.
The company has eight stores in Beijing and five outlets in Chengdu, Sichuan province. In 2011, the eight outlets in Beijing saw revenues totaling 2.7 billion yuan.
"Ito-Yokado will use the investment to strengthen its dominant position in the Chengdu market," said Guo Zengli, president of China Shopping Center Development Association.
Cheng said the stores in Beijing need to be improved, including the decorations and the addition of more high-end and imported products.
"High-end products will provide higher returns compared with domestic products," said Guo. "And it's more important that Ito-Yokado addresses Chinese consumers' concern about general food safety. "
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