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Suning aims to grow by heading north
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Suning Appliance Co plans to maintain its pace of expansion by venturing to north China next year as it is confident in the potential of the market there, which will benefit from the government's move to boost domestic consumption.

The retailer plans to open more than 200 outlets covering 70 new cities. A source who is familiar with the plan told Shanghai Daily that these cities are mainly third and fourth-tier cities in north China. The Nanjing-based retailer operates most of its stores in the south China now.

The consumer-electronics retailer will also hire 36,000 employees next year, it said in an e-mailed statement yesterday.

"Suning aims to ride on the government's bid to spur consumption, including the 'Home Appliances to the Countryside' policy, and to maintain sound growth" for the company, said Chairman Zhang Jindong.

A spokesman said it is the right time to expand especially now that rents have fallen almost 20 percent and demand for home appliances will hardly be hit as China's economy is still expected to grow relatively fast.

The retailer will also set up five large-scale logistics bases in Beijing, Shenyang in Liaoning Province, Chengdu in Sichuan Province, Xuzhou and Nanjing in Jiangsu Provinceto consolidate its logistics service.

A latest report by www.askci.com, a research and analysis firm, said there are more than 30,000 electronics retailers in China and the top three retailers have a market share of less than 25 percent domestically while Bestbuy of the United States has more than 90 percent in its home market.

(Shanghai Daily December 4, 2008)

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