Hong Kong-listed supermarket and chain store retailer K.P.I. Company Limited has announced plans to open 30 new Hi-24 convenience stores in Beijing in 2010, increasing the number of its convenience stores from 171 at the end of 2009 to 200.
The company will reportedly invest between CNY100,000 and CNY200,000 for the opening of each of these stores and it expects to achieve sales of CNY240 million in 2010, with the comprehensive gross margin of about 34%.
Tao Ye, general manager of K.P.I. Company, revealed that they will continue to seek acquisition opportunities to expand its convenience store network.
Commenting on the company's sale of its 60% stake in Hualian GMS Shopping Center Company Limited, a large-scale supermarket chain, in March 2010, Tao said that it was mainly because of the severe competition in the Shanghai retail market and it is hard for the company to expand its retail business in the city via acquisitions. Therefore, Tao said the company will focus more on the Beijing market and plans to increase the number of its retail sites in Beijing to 300 before the end of 2011 to enhance its market position in the city.
Statistics from Beijing Municipal Commission of Commerce show that Beijing had about 1,300 convenience stores in 2008 and it was still a potential market compared with Shanghai, where over 6,000 convenience stores had already opened. At present, Beijing's convenience store market is mainly shared by three brands, including Hi-24 with 171 stores, Lianhua Quick with 150 stores, and 7-Eleven with 93 stores.