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City Snapshot: Retail Heaven

City Snapshot: Retail Heaven
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Nine months after opening its first store in Xiamen, the UK retail giant Tesco made further inroads into Fujian Province. Built to green specifications, their new Fuzhou location should save 25 per cent of previous total energy consumption for a store of this size. This brings the number of China’s Tesco stores close to 100.
In March 2011, Tesco signed a joint venture to build three more shopping malls located in Shenyang, Xiamen and Fuzhou, splitting the project with a consortium of Asian investors. Singapore's Metro Holdings will own 50 per cent of the venture. The project’s total value is around £170 million, with Tesco and the consortium each investing about £30 million of equity.

How has the store in Fuzhou been received?

Rona Ren, South Region Manager, Corporate Affairs, Tesco: The Tesco Pushang Store in Fuzhou is an experimental store called “Le Du Hui” in Chinese, with a membership sales model. It is a result of the November 2008 joint venture agreement with local property developer Zhengxiang Property. With quick approval and strong support from Fuzhou’s local government, this project has been progressing smoothly; after only one month, it has become one of China’s best Tesco stores in terms of development, business model and sales volume.

It sounds as if the store is already quite involved in the community

RR: Yes, that’s correct. Apart from offering about 500 jobs to the local community, Tesco also donated RMB 50,000 to Cangshan District Charity Funds to help students from poor rural areas. We have established good relationships with the social communities nearby. Corporate social responsibility is a very important part of Tesco’s commitment in international markets.

Does Tesco have any plans to expand in the region?
RR: We have signed an agreement for a third Tesco store in Fujian, which is a market with great potential. Operating in a regional city such as Fuzhou means less competition, relatively lower cost and stronger government support, yet the consumer demand is huge.



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