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AEON looking at smaller retail formats to meet demand

KUALA LUMPUR: AEON Co (M) Bhd is looking at new retail formats, such as its smaller neighbourhood shopping centre in Mahkota Cheras, to meet the market demand.

Its chairman, Datuk Abdullah Mohd Yusof said this new concept centres along with its future shopping complexes would help increase its revenue amid the stiff competition in the retail market.

AEON, a holding company for supermarkets, department stores and financial services, currently has 23 department stores.

"After Bandaraya Melaka and Mahkota Cheras, we have plans for new centres but those have yet to be approved," Abdullah told reporters after the company's AGM on Tuesday, May 18.

Although AEON has generally outperformed the local economic growth, its business still depends on the state of the economy and the prevailing competition.

"Due to competition, we balance this by opening new stores so that our revenues will increase," he said.

Abdullah also said that the New Economic Model mooted by the government to increase per capita income would help their business as people's disposable income rise.

As for regional expansion, he said they were still exploring the various countries such as Indonesia, and could possibly take on a local partner for it.

Meanwhile, its senior general manager for corporate finance and investor relations, Poh Ying Loo said their capital expenditure for 2010 was between RM100 million and RM150 million including renovations for existing stores. -- Bernama

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