New World Department Store China Limited ("NWDS" or the "Company"; Hong Kong stock code: 825), one of the largest owners and operators of department stores in the PRC, is pleased to announce that its sixth Wuhan store, Wuhan New World Department Store - Hanyang Branch Store ("Wuhan Hanyang Store"), will be opened soon.
The new store is located at Hanyang's Zhong Jia Cun Commercial Circle, one of the most important commercial districts in Hanyang. Hankou, Wuchang and Hanyang, well known as "Three Towns of Wuhan", are situated in the intersection of the Yangtze River and Hanshui. With the opening of the new store in Hanyang, NWDS officially has footholds in all the three towns of Wuhan. The Wuhan Hanyang Store is a self-owned store which occupies six levels of the commercial building, with an aggregate gross floor area ("GFA") of approximately 53,000 sq m. The store is expected to commence operation before the end of 2008.
After the opening of the Wuhan Hanyang Store and Beijing Liying Store, respectively, by the end of this year, the number of NWDS stores in Mainland China (excluding HK Store) will increase to 33 stores. The total GFA of our stores will exceed one million sq m.
Located at the heart of Central China with rich natural resources, Wuhan is not only a transportation hub, but also an important industrial centre with robust economic growth. From January to May 2008, Wuhan's total retail sales of consumption goods surged by 22.3%* to RMB 72.51 billion* over the same period last year. This evidences the strong purchasing power of the city's population.
Mr Adrian Cheng, Executive Director of NWDS, said, "Wuhan is the origin of the company's business. This new store in Wuhan aligns with our expansion strategy of "multiple stores within a single city". This not only provides the Company with flexibility in logistics support, inventory control and manpower deployment, it also raises cost effectiveness and enhances brand equity, as well as synergizing joint marketing and promotion efforts. We will continue to strengthen our presence in cities with strong economic growth and to look for potential acquisition opportunities. Such moves facilitate the Company's store network expansion and amplify its competitive advantages."
Mr Philip Cheung, Executive Director and Managing Director of NWDS, added, "Our six stores in Wuhan provide a variety of product mix, which is tailor made according to customer needs and differentiated purchasing power across districts. This approach attracts customers from all walks of life. It also raises our market share in Wuhan and reinforces our influence in Central China, which in turn, strengthens our leading position in China."
*Source: Statistical Information of Wuhan (www.whtj.gov.cn)