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Friday March 5, 2010

Tesco plans five new stores this year

By FARIK ZOLKEPLI


farik@thestar.com.my

JOHOR BARU: Tesco Stores (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd plans to open five more hypermarkets with investments amounting to RM400mil, bringing the number to 38 stores nationwide by year’s end.

Its chief executive officer Chris Bush said that investing in the five new stores would add to more than RM3bil already invested in the country.

“We target to open five new stores this year.

“Among the locations are Kulim in Kedah, Old Klang Road in Kuala Lumpur and Malacca,” he told pressmen after the official opening of Tesco Bukit Indah here yesterday.

He said that Tesco is a significant investor in Malaysia, creating about 12,000 jobs since it opened its first store in 2002.

“Now more than ever, we must continue to invest in the country as Malaysia moves towards a stronger economic recovery.

“We aim to provide good local jobs and bring low prices and increase choices to more communities,” he said.

Bush also announced that the company aims to increase the sales of its own brand products by 2% this year, bringing the number to 15% of total sales of all products.

“Tesco brand products are growing strongly with more than 4,000 types of products sold at our stores.

“Our products, consisting of Tesco Value and Tesco Choice offers great value at great prices for our customers,” he said.

He added that the company aimed at increasing the types of their own brand products as well.

Bush said that Tesco Value products are usually the cheapest products on display while Tesco Choice was up to 40% cheaper compared to other leading brands.

Bush said that the company expect the next 12-month to be positive, in terms of consumer confidence as the economy was showing signs of improvement.

“The economy is now much better but it is too early to say whether the consumer’s confidence has rebounded.

“However, we expect a positive outlook this year,” he said.

Asked whether the new Tesco Bukit Indah, which is located between Giant hypermarket and Jusco Bukit Indah would be a disadvantage for the company, Bush said Tesco enjoys such competition.

“It keeps myself and the team focus in ensuring that we find ways to satisfy our customers.

“Such competition is great for Malaysian consumers as they will be able to enjoy better offers, better range and better pricing,” he said adding that, the Malaysian market was very competitive and fantastic.

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