The Shanghai Daily reported on Friday March 26 that China Chain Store & Franchise Association (CCFA) found sales value at the top chains, including Suning, Bailian and Carrefour, rose 13.5% to 1.36 trillion yuan (RM777.38 billion) from last year.
It accounted for 11% of the country’s retail sales, and is the smallest growth since CCFA compiled the report in 1999.
It is also the first time top chains developed slower growth than China's total retail sales of consumer goods, which rose 15.5% in 2009.
"It is a natural trend for Chinese companies to slow their expansion speed due to the limitation on management capability and location choices," said CCFA in a statement.
CCFA forecast sales at the top chains to increase by 18% this year as they seek merger and acquisition opportunities more actively to boost sales.
Suning Appliance Co topped the chain store list for the first time, overtaking Gome Electrical Appliances with sales of 117 billion yuan (RM56.85 billion). Carrefour was the highest foreign chain at No. 7 with sales of 36.6 billion yuan (RM17.78 billion).
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