According to Hong Jie, the chief operating officer of CR Vanguard, the company plans to open 300 to 400 new supermarkets on the Chinese mainland in 2009, maintaining the same pace of development as in 2008.
Hong said the global economic turmoil has only had a slight influence on its supermarket business on the Chinese mainland. Sales from its supermarkets on the mainland attained a double-digit growth in 2008 and these sales are expected to maintain a double-digit growth in 2009. However, due to the financial crisis, the growth of its supermarkets in Hong Kong may slow down.
Ding Zhiwei, director and assistant general manager for CR Vanguard Hong Kong, said the company's sales in Hong Kong achieved a single-digit growth in 2008. In 2009, Vanguard will continue to expand its supermarket and convenience store businesses in Hong Kong will open four or five new supermarkets and 20 new convenience stores.
In addition, CR Vanguard has opened its first high-end fashion supermarket under the brand Ole in Hong Kong. Ding said the company is seeking new sites for Ole and plans to open one or two new outlets in 2009.