Retailing, Franchising, and Consumerism Business Intelligence in China

Haier Invests USD15 Million To Enter Department Store Retail Market

China's Haier Electronics Group announced that it will invest initial capital of USD15 million to set up a joint venture with Home Retail Group to develop department store retail business on the Chinese mainland under the brand of Argos.

A report published by Haier stated that the group and its wholly-owned subsidiary Foreland Agents signed an agreement with Home Retail Group's two wholly-owned subsidiaries, Home Retail Group (UK) and Home Retail Group (Hong Kong), on October 18, 2011. According to the agreement, a joint venture named HH Retail Limited will be established and will operate a multi-channel department store retail company under the brand of Argos in mainland China.

Foreland Agents will hold a 51% stake in the new JV while Home Retail Group (Hong Kong) will hold the remaining 49%. The board of directors will be formed by five members, including three assigned by Haier and two signed by Home Retail Group.

Initial investments of about USD29.5 million will be put in the new JV, of which about USD15 million will be from Haier. The two parties also agreed to make further investments if the performance of the new company meets expectations.

According to public files, Home Retail Group is a British home supplies and department store retailer, and is listed in London. It currently has 53,000 employees. Home Retail Group has two independent and complementary retail brands, Argos and Homebase. They sell over 35,000 kinds of products via more than 750 stores as well as the Internet, phone, and TV channels. During its latest fiscal year, Home Retail Group's sales reached nearly GBP6 billion.

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