According to Fan Zhijun, executive president of Suning's management headquarters for North China, the company plans to open five new stores in Beijing in the fourth quarter of 2008 while completing the upgrade of its existing seven stores to accelerate the accomplishment of its goal of opening 100 stores in the city by 2010.
In the first three quarters of 2008, Suning totally opened 13 new stores and finished upgrading of four stores in Beijing. Fan said the company's expansion in the previous quarters was affected by the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, but it will speed up the expansion and open more stores in the fourth quarter of 2008.
At the same time, Fan stated that the upgrade of its existing stores is not aimed at avoiding the potential risks in the current economic situation. A price war can only promote the increase of sales in the short term and in the long run, upgrading and restructuring will help to retain the competitive strength of the company.
At present, China's appliances chain sector has entered a period of rapid expansion and the major tasks for Suning are to win core business and gain market share. In the future, Suning will stick to a development pace of about 200 new stores each year throughout China; and in the Beijing market, the company plans to increase the number of stores it owns to 100 with a market share of over 50% by 2010, said Fan.
Of the five new stores, three will be located in Langfang, Sanhe, and Yanqing.