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Foreign Retailers Expand Business in Beijing
China Ikea signed an agreement with Beijing Tide Leasehold Co. Ltd in Beijing May 15 to jointly launch the Ikea Wangjing store. In addition, other retailers like the 7-11 store, DIA and Champion are also busy expanding their businesses in Beijing.

4 Beijing Ikea stores by 2007

This is the second Ikea store in Beijing, set to open before 2005. Ikea Wangjing store, which includes Ikea Shopping Mall and Ikeaís North China Office, will have an area of 30,000 square meters. The existing Ikea Madian store only occupies an area of 15,800 square meters. The new Ikea store will have a larger parking area and 50 percent more merchandise for sale. It will provide 500 to 700 jobs, and its annual sales are estimated to reach 700 million yuan (US$84.6 million) to 1 billion yuan (US$120 million).

Ikea set up two stores in Shanghai (1998) and Beijing (1999). General Manager of China Ikea said that Beijing was always the highlight of its development strategy. Before 2007, Ikea plans to set up four standard Ikea stores in Beijing, with a total investment of US$250 million. By 2010, Ikea will have about 10 stores in China. Except for Beijing, it also plans to expand in Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

Wal-Mart plans to open stores in June

Other three retailers, 7-11, DIA and Champion stores, are also under preparation. Foreign retailers are now busy expanding their business in China. Itís reported that the 7-11 store and DIA has submitted contracts to the Ministry of Commerce. They are also selecting store sites and preparing to open stores in the latter half of the year. Champion store is currently negotiating with Shoulian Group. It will submit feasibility reports in the near future.

Sources with Beijing Municipal Commerce Commission said that the city would introduce 10 Sino-foreign joint ventures in the retailing sector despite the outbreak of SARS. Wal-Mart will open its new store in June as scheduled. Itís reported that Wal-Mart has already completed purchasing merchandise, business investment invitations, personnel training, store building projects and decoration. The next step is to arrange the merchandise in the store.

Auchan from France and B&Q from the UK continue their projects as scheduled, and begin to purchase merchandise and invite business investment. EK Chor Lotus from Thailand is also negotiating with cooperators, and tries to open one or two stores at the end of this year. Hong Kong-based China Resources Vanguard has selected three store sites after investigation, and plans to open its doors by the end of 2003.

10 foreign retailers in Beijing

Wal-Mart from the US plans to open stores in June

Auchan from France begins to purchase merchandise and invite businesses

B&Q from the UK begins to purchase merchandise and invite businesses

EK Chor Lotus from Thailand will open 1 or 2 stores at the end of 2003

Hong Kong-based China Resources Vanguard plans to open stores at the end of 2003

Metro from Germany is handling approval procedures

OBI from Germany has signed agreement to open store at Yizhuang

7-11 store from US is selecting store site

Spanish discount retailer DIA is selecting store site

Champion store from France will submit feasibility report in near future.

(China.org.cn by Tang Fuchun, May 28, 2003)

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