The first Tesco Guangzhou store has opened at Sheng Di Plaza, Baiyun District, Guangzhou, which is Tesco's first wholly-owned foreign store in south China.
Tony Hoggett, operation director of Tesco (South China), says that Tesco will start its large-scale expansion with single-owned stores and in 2008 it will focus on first-tier cities in the Southern China market. It is reported that the Tesco Longcheng store will be opened in Shenzhen by the end of April.
In July 2004, Tesco purchased 50% shares of the Chinese Hymall chain supermarket. In the following two years, Tesco opened 18 stores under its brand. In December 2006, Tesco purchased another 40% shares of Hymall. However, Tesco did not launch large-scale expansion after it obtained a stake control of Hymall. At present, Tesco only has 53 stores in China and it did not open any shop in Guangzhou, its regional headquarters of south China.
In addition, Tesco will open its stores in the form of single ownership in South China as well as in the whole country. The opening of Tesco Sheng Di (Guangzhou) store is just a prelude for Tesco to accelerate expansion in South China. Tony said that it should not be a problem for Tesco to open 10 shops around China this year.