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7-Eleven enters Shanghai
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The world's largest convenience retailer, 7-Eleven, yesterday opened four stores in the city, its maiden entry into Shanghai.

"We plan to open over 10 stores this year in Shanghai. The number of outlets will go up to 300 within five years, including 150 that will be set up in the first three years," said Richard Huang, president of President Chain Store (Shanghai) Ltd (PSC), which got the approval to operate the brand in the city last May.

The newly established stores are located in the prosperous Xuhui, Luwan, and Pudong districts.

Kazuo Otsuka, chairman of 7-Eleven China, said the launch of its Shanghai stores was delayed due to licensing restrictions. "It will not be an easy market for us," he said citing the fierce competition 7-Eleven faces in a city like Shanghai. There are over 4,000 convenience stores currently in Shanghai.

Each 7-Eleven store will have an area of more than 120 sq m, one and half times bigger than the city's other such convenience stores on average. "We plan to make profits within four years," Huang said.

PSC's parent company, President China Store Corporation, which operates 4,800 7-Eleven stores in Taiwan, invested 100 million yuan in PSC to enable it to run the city's convenience store business.

"We probably will consider leasing the stores to franchisees a year later," Huang said.

According to data put out by research agency Euromonitor International, 7-Eleven had a 3 percent market share in the mainland, trailing seven other domestic brands, with Kedi of Shanghai-based Bright Foods Group at the top.

7-Eleven operates in 24 countries with 32 million customers visiting its over-3,600 stores.

(China Daily April 30, 2009)

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