AEON Co and AEON BiG management to be placed under one roof

KUALA LUMPUR (June 13): Come July, the management of AEON Co Ltd’s retail units in Malaysia — AEON Co (M) Bhd and AEON BiG (M) Sdn Bhd — will be restructured and consolidated into a single organisation as part of a 10-year strategy to create an agile, resilient and intrapreneurial retail organisation, The Edge reported today.

The management reorganisation calls for privately held AEON BiG to relocate its offices from Subang Jaya, Selangor, to AEON Co’s headquarters at Taman Maluri, Kuala Lumpur, beginning next month, an internal memorandum sighted by The Edge reveals.

Japan’s AEON Co Ltd owns 51% of Bursa-listed AEON Co and 95.49% of AEON BiG. The remaining 4.51% in AEON BiG is held by AEON South East Asia Sdn Bhd. Profitable AEON Co mainly operates department stores while loss-making AEON BiG manages hypermarkets.

The restructuring memo has raised a number of questions.

Who will be in charge of AEON Co and AEON BiG? Will there be two different teams or will AEON Co staff also be managing AEON BiG, and vice versa? How exactly will AEON Co and AEON BiG separate the businesses of the two retailers? Will AEON Co end up “financing” AEON BiG or will AEON BiG pay AEON Co for the services rendered? Which company will benefit more and by how much?

In the internal memorandum dated April 9, titled “AEON Retail Malaysia” — presumably in reference to the businesses of both AEON BiG and AEON Co — AEON Co managing director Shafie Shamsuddin says AEON Retail has decided to take the “growth” approach moving forward, as it is cognisant of the fact that the Covid-19 pandemic will have a far-reaching economic impact, especially on the retail and mall business in Malaysia. This will result in a fall in top-line trade.

Shafie, who signed off the memo as CEO of AEON Retail Malaysia, assumed his post in AEON Co on Jan 1. He is also a director of AEON BiG. Between July and December 2019, he was the chief strategy officer of AEON Asia Sdn Bhd.

Read the full report in this week’s The Edge Malaysia

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