The British retail giant Tesco has announced plans to invest GBP2 billion in China over the next five years to expand the number of stores it operates in China.
The company said that by 2016 it will have 80 shopping centers in China, with a total shopping area of 40 million square feet. Of the total area, Tesco's hypermarkets will occupy one-fifth and the remaining space will be allocated to other retailers and leisure companies.
Sir Terry Leahy, the CEO of Tesco, said that the Asian market is the major engine for growth of the group. Under his leadership, Tesco Group's sales increased by 6% to GBP57 billion in 2009 and its pre-tax profits increased by 9% to GBP3.2 billion.
Tesco is currently competing for market share in China with other international retailers such as Wal-Mart and Carrefour. However, the company still has a long way to go before it ranks as a top-five retailer in China.