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 the expansion of its existing Harbin New World Department Store ("Harbin Store"). The expansion plan will additionally increase a gross floor area ("GFA") of approximately 18,000 sq m and enlarge the retail space of Harbin Store to an aggregate GFA of approximately 50,000 sq m. The expanded area is expected to be in phased operation by the end of 2008.
Harbin Store is located at Nangang District, the centre of Harbin City. Surrounded by a wealth of developments and public amenities, Nangang District is the political, economic, cultural, research & development, financial and transportation centre of the city. Since its operation in 1996, Harbin Store has become one of the leading department stores and retail operators in Harbin and yet in Northeastern China. After the expansion, Harbin Store will endure its high-end positioning by introducing more international and famous brand labels, fully utilizing the floor space and optimizing merchandise mix, as well as providing with supermarket for imported products, high-class restaurant and fitness centre etc. The store will further become a unique, metropolis-based department store integrated with fashion shopping and leisure spending in the city.
Harbin City is the major financial, commercial and political hub in the Northeastern China. With its rapid development in recent years, Harbin City is a market with considerable potential. The total retail sales of consumption goods in Harbin City recorded RMB 58.02 billion* in the first half of 2008, jumped by 19.9%* over the same period a year ago. While the GDP recorded RMB 125.34 billion* during the same period, representing a growth of 13.7%* compared to that of last year. These figures reveal that Harbin City has already possessed a substantial economic strength to enter into a new stage of active and sophisticated development.
Established the first store in Northeastern China since 1995, NWDS currently operates six department stores in the region. Leveraging on the excellent geographical locations and strong consumer sentiment, the Northeastern region contributed the most to the Company's revenue in the first half of 2008 financial year, amounted to approximately 30.1% of the total revenue.
Mr Adrian Cheng, Executive Director of NWDS, said, "The Northeastern region has been actively developing in recent years. It will become the fourth economic-growth area following the Pearl River Delta, the Yangtze River Delta and the Pan Bohai Rim region. The strong economic growth has led to an urge of higher living standard in the region, resulting in a continuous rise of consumer market, which will benefit the Company's further development."
Mr. Philip Cheung, Managing Director and Executive Director of NWDS, said, "Following the plan of revitalizing Northeastern China by the Central Government, abundant resources are relocated to the region. In addition to its extensive radiation coverage, the Company envisions the huge business opportunities. The expansion of Harbin Store demonstrates our strategy of increasing widespread foothold on one hand, and utilizing development potential of existing stores on the other hand. We believe this expansion plan can inject new power and momentum to maintain our leading position in the Northeastern China."
*Source: The People's Government of Harbin: www.harbin.gov.cn