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Aeon To Build Malls, But Not Here
Jul 24, 2012
Aeon, the Japanese business group better known here as personal loan provider, unveiled a multi-billion-dollar investment plan to develop shopping centres in major Asian countries except Thailand.
Thailand is not on Aeon's radar screen as the country is crowded with local heavyweight players like Central Pattana Plc and The Mall Group.
"We are here to convince Thai companies to take up space at our malls in Asean countries," said Akifumi Nakamura, director and executive general manager for Asean at Aeon Mall Co.
It expects to develop 50 malls in Asean by 2020, while increasing its malls in China to 100 the same year, up from 11 malls currently.
The plan is part of its US$3.75 billion overseas investment strategy for various businesses including retail, credit cards and amusement service.
The company plans to open its first Aeon Mall retail outlet in Cambodia to cater to rising demand from middle-class consumers. It requires investment of $150 million for construction and is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2014.
Other retail developments are slated for Jakarta and Hanoi the same year.
Aeon Mall in Cambodia will be the first large-scale shopping mall ever built in the country, he said. It will occupy 100,000 square metres to allow 200 retail shops, with two anchor tenants and a cinema. About 30% of tenants are from Japan, 40% are local and the remaining 30% are multinationals.
"Some 100 Thai companies are interested in having shops at Aeon Mall in Cambodia, such as Minor Food Group, Central Restaurant Group and ICC International Plc, the marketing arm for fashion and cosmetics under the Saha Group," said Mr Nakamura.
Aeon established its retail business in Thailand in 1984. There are 37 supermarkets in Thailand under the MaxValu and MaxValu Tanjai brands. It also has Aeon Thana Sinsap (Thailand), which listed on the SET in 2001.
Aeon operates various formats worldwide including shopping centres, general merchandise stores, supermarkets, convenience stores and specialty stores.