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CRV unveils Ole store in Xujiahui

RETAIL giant China Resources Vanguard today opened its first high-end supermarket Ole in Shanghai, marking its entry into one of the most vigorous markets in China.

CRV, the retail chain brand of state-owned China Resources, will open a second Ole next year in Pudong New Area. Another two outlets under Ole's sub-brand blt will also be launched by the end of this year in Yueda 889 in Jing'an District and Lianyang area in Pudong, spokeswoman Jiang Yan told Shanghai Daily. Blt is a smaller version of Ole.

CRV operates 13 Ole outlets across the country since it launched in Shenzhen in 2004. Sales have grown at a double-digit rate and the company expects similar growth potential in Shanghai, Jiang said.

"CRV has been planning to make a foray into Shanghai since last year to improve our layout in the eastern China region," said Dai Hong, general manager for Ole's business.

The store, located at Grand Gateway in Xujiahui, covers 4,000 square meters. More than 70 percent of the products are imported while about 20 percent are only available in Ole.

Supermarket chains have been eying Shanghai's high-end retail business to cater to increasing demand from elite consumers. Brands including City Supermarket and City Super have set up business in the city.

"There is still plenty of room for these high-end supermarkets and it is a good choice for retail chains to shun fierce competition in the lower end markets," said Jason Tang, an analyst from Everbright Securities Co.

CRV ran 2,929 stores across China last year and chalked up sales at 68 billion yuan. Its portfolio includes supermarket brands CRV, SuGuo, shopping mall brand Fun2 and Leonardo Di Gasun. The company is considering introducing more brands to Shanghai due to the strong purchasing power of the city's consumers.


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