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FamilyMart to open 200 new stores

CONVENIENCE store chain operator FamilyMart is to open at least 200 new stores in China this year.

It will enter Beijing, Wuxi and Dongguan to tap into growing demand, remaining upbeat despite a general slowdown in consumer goods spending.

FamilyMart aims to enter one or two new cities each year over the next few years to drive sales growth in China, said Wei Yinheng, chairman of Ting Hsin International Group, FamilyMart’s franchiser in China’s mainland.

Since the beginning of this year, same-store sales have added about 12 percent from a year ago, Wei told a recent media briefing in Shanghai.

The convenience store chain was less affected by the online shopping boom than supermarket chain operators due to different consumer behavior and shopping patterns, added Wei.

Currently FamilyMart has about 800 stores in Shanghai, part of around 1,100 stores nationwide. It opened the first in Shanghai in 2004.

Last year, FamilyMart’s revenues in China’s mainland were 3.8 billion yuan (US$609 million).

In 2013, it broke even in China and is expected to achieve slight profits this year, according to Wei.

Over the next few years, the chain plans to renovate its existing stores to increase the floor space to attract more consumers and encourage them to visit more frequently.

In the future, FamilyMart stores will be around 100 to 120 square meters and offer more seating where customers can eat and drink purchases. Existing stores cover only about 80 square meters.


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