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 Company's expansion into a new market, Taizhou City, Zhejiang. The new store in Taizhou is a joint cooperative project and targets to have grand opening in first half of 2009. The addition brings the Group's total number of stores to 34, with a total gross floor area ("GFA") of about 1,100,570 sq m. Taizhou, lies between Ningbo and Weizhou in Zhejiang, is one of the cities with the fastest economic development in the Changjiang Delta. For the first to third quarter of 2008, Taizhou's GDP reached beyond RMB137.3 billion*, representing a year-on-year growth of 10%*. During the same period, the city's total retail sales of consumer goods grew by 19.4% * to over RMB51.7 billion* compared with that of 2007, whilst its per capita disposable income was RMB17,492* with a year-on-year growth of 8.5%*.
NWDS eyes on this thriving city's potential and therefore extends its business to Taizhou. The opening of the new store in Taizhou marks the Company's foray into a booming city in the Changjiang Delta. Taizhou new store is situated in Jiaojiang District among the three major districts of the city. It comprises three storeys and a basement carpark, with a GFA of approximately 30,000 sq m. The new store features a large ladies' wear flagship as well as shoes area. It also introduces around 200 overseas and national trendy brands in which several dozen brands are exclusively sold in Taizhou. With these unique store features and merchandises, NWDS targets to establish an exquisite and trend-setting department store in the city. Commenting on the new store in Taizhou, Mr Adrian Cheng, Executive Director of NWDS, said, "Taizhou Store comes as a joint cooperative project of the Company that receives tremendous support from the local government. The opening of new store in Taizhou will bring our store portfolio in the Eastern China region to 12 stores.
In fact, the Company already established strong foothold in Shanghai of the Eastern China Region as well as radiated our business into Wuxi and Nanjing in Jiangsu and Ningbo in Zhejiang. Now, we further extend our business to Taizhou. Our store network covers most of the core cities and their leading peripheral cities in the Eastern China Region, fully demonstrates our expansion strategy of radiating business from core cities. This helps further consolidate the Company's reputation and its market position in Eastern China. With the effective expansion strategy of "multiple presences in a single city" and "radiation cities" in place, we will continue to identify markets with promising growth potential and strive to expand our retail network, so as to become a dominant department store chain operator in China." Mr Philip Cheung, Managing Director and Executive Director of NWDS, added, "Our new store is located in Jiaojiang District, the city's renowned commercial zone. Geographically, it is located at the junction of Taizhou Shifu Da Dao and Zhongxin Da Dao, boasting its heavy pedestrian flow and prime location.The Jiaojiang commercial zone is surrounded by high-end residential area, government bureaus and commercial buildings where lacks well-established department store for a group of fashion-conscious consumers. NWDS therefore seizes this business opportunity and targets the group of mid to mid-high income Jiaojiang residents who yearn for trendy merchandises, aiming to be the city's leisure and shopping hot spot." *Source: Taizhou Statistics Bureau, Zhejiang, China (www.tzstats.gov.cn)