Business Intelligence on Retailing, Franchising, and Consumerism in China

Chinese Wowo Gets USD10 Million Funds From ARC

The Sichuan-based convenience store chain Wowo has received a USD10 million investment from the private equity firm ARC Investment Partners and the Chinese retailer is now preparing for listing on Nasdaq to become the first Sichuan retail company that is listed in the United States.

According to Zhang Yifa, ARC's investment partner in China, Wowo has currently passed the audit of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and is only one step away from being listed. He said the present market is not very optimistic, so the listing might be postponed a little.

As one of the first convenience store chains that established 24-hour stores in Chengdu, Wowo Supermarket Chain Management Limited had 189 directly-managed stores in Chengdu as at October 2008. For its future development, the company plans to extend its business to such provincial capital cities as Chongqing, Changsha, Wuhan, and Kunming and to increase the number of its stores to 500 in the next two years. The ultimate goal of Wowo is to open 2,000 stores in Chengdu, 1,000 in Chongqing, 1,000 in Changsha, 1,000 in Hefei, 1,000 in Kunming, 1,500 in Wuhan, 500 in Nanchang, and 500 in Lanzhou as well as realizing annual sales of over CNY10 billion.

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