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Amid slowdown in China, PRG diversifies businesses
Jun '16
Courtesy: Parkson
Courtesy: Parkson
Malaysia-based Parkson Retail Group Ltd (PRG) is diversifying its businesses in China to face challenges affecting the retail industry amid the country's “new normal” of slower economic growth.

PRG's Chief financial officer Sam Au said the group, which opened its first store in China in Beijing in 1994, is now actively engaging new formats as part of its transformation.

Among its new endeavours are acquiring distribution rights of fashion brands for the Chinese market and bringing in F&B brands into the mainland.

Au stressed that PRG is the sole distributor for Spanish fashion brand Mango men in China and distributor for Mango women in selected cities. It is also the master franchisee for Johnny Rockets (American diner-style restaurant), Quiznos (American brand offering submarine sandwiches) and Library Coffee Bar.

These brands, together with two of Parkson's own F&B brands Franco (French-Japanese fusion) and Ji Hui (Hainanese chicken rice), are available in Parkson's latest shopping mall in Qingdao, Shandong province.

This venture known as Lion Mall has opened on April 28. The grand opening ceremony will be held later this month. Owned and operated by PRG, the mall is the froup's eighth property in China.

Au said Parkson has always adopted an asset-light model in mainland and its future plans would be guided by this principle as well. He insisted that PRG would not have expanded so fast if not for this principle.

He said the plus point of owning assets is that PRG does not have to worry about rental pressure. PRG's future expansion would be capital-intensive.

Parkson operates 57 stores in 34 Chinese cities, with Urumqi in Xinjiang province as its furthest expansion point in northwestern China. With a gross floor area of 70,000 sq m, it opened its doors in 2002.

PRG, which owns 51 per cent of the store, leads the operations and management while its partner, A-share listed Xinjiang Youhao Group, holds the remaining 49 per cent.

PRG does not disclose profits of individual stores but Xinjiang outlet is one of the top five contributors to the group, both top line and bottom line, Au said. (SH)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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