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Retail giants to create shopping landmark in NE China

Updated: 2010-09-25

Robbinz Department Stores signed a lease contract with Star Mall Group on Sept 21, becoming the second largest retailer at the Star Mall Shopping Plaza in Shenyang of Liaoning province.

Robbinz under the Lippo Group has leased an area of 17,000 square meters (sq m)on the three floors of the 330,000-sq-m plaza, said Francis Yu, president of Robbinz Department Stores.

Robbinz, established in 2006, is a member of the Lippo Group and represents the group's core retail business in China. It now has stores in Tianjin, Chengdu of Sichuan province and Shenzhen of Guangdong province with a total area of over 150,000 sq m.

Shenyang store is part of its plan to expand its shopping areas in China to over 500,000 sq m within five years, said Yu.

"The plan is already in place, including a new store in Yangzhou of Jiangsu province which will open in the 4th quarter this year," he said.

In addition to the Robbinz store at Shenyang Plaza which is scheduled to open in May 2011, Robbinz is also planning to open new stores in Xuzhou, Huai'an, Changzhou, Taizhou and Suzhou in Jiangsu province.

"The investment is colossal if Robbinz wants to have stores with a combined area of 500,000 sq m within five years," Yu said, but he didn't tell how much will be needed.

However, generally speaking, one sq m of shopping area costs an investment of about 4,000 yuan including decoration and rent. Thus, 500,000 sq m of shopping areas are expected to need at least 2 billion yuan and even more, insiders said.

"Effort is being made to seek opportunities to open stores in the Yangtze Delta region, including projects in Shanghai," Yu said.

Bulent Ulusoy, CEO of Star Mall Group, said apart from Robbinz, INDITEX Group, one of the world's largest fashion retailers, will be staged at Shenyang Plaza together with its four fashion brands: Zara, Pull and Bear, Bershka and Stradivarius.

Another world famous fashion retailer BESTSELLER has also joined the plaza with Only, Selected, Jack&Jones and Vero Moda brands, Ulusoy said.

In addition, he said, French Auchan Group will operate its flagship hypermarket at the plaza, while Huayi Brothers will provide a large cinema for local customers.

"Meanwhile, Star Mall is finalizing the negotiation with GOME, China's leading appliance retailer brand, for the store of 3,650 sq m at the plaza," Ulusoy said.


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