E-Mart finds local suitor to buy stores on mainlandA Chinese retailer said yesterday it will buy six stores in China owned by Korea’s leading discount store chain E-Mart as the Korean company seeks to restructure its Chinese business.
New Hua Du Super Center Co., a hypermarkets chain operator, said in an announcement that it has agreed to acquire E-Mart’s three stores in Changzhou, and one each in Ningbo, Taizhou and Hangzhou for 125 million yuan ($19.7 million).
Based in the eastern province of Fujian, New Hua Du Super Center is an affiliate of Newhuadu Industrial Group, one of China’s largest conglomerates.
E-Mart, an affiliate of Korea’s second-largest retailer Shinsegae Co., opened its first Chinese outlet in February 1997 and has been operating 27 stores mostly in the northeastern region of China.
The discount retailer said earlier in June it has been in talks with a Chinese firm to sell some of its stores in China.
Last year, the company registered a net loss of 75 billion won from its Chinese business.
E-Mart said it will continue to expand its stores into small- and medium-size cities and into the western region of China, shifting its focus from the country’s metropolitan cities.
By 2015, E-Mart aims to increase the number of its stores in China to 45, following the restructuring of stores that have been making losses.
Some market watchers predict that China will surpass the United States as the largest consumer market by 2020, with retail sales expected to reach $2.4 trillion.
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