AEON MALL, the leading Japanese retail group, aims to create a strong footprint in Asia and become the No-1 retailer in Asean by investing in about 10 new shopping malls in the region, including one in Thailand, by the end of the decade.
“Under our 2020 strategy, we are planning to open five new shopping malls in Jakarta, after entering the 250-million-strong market with our first Aeon Mall in Indonesia last year. Meanwhile, the company is also adding three more branches in Ho Chi Minh City, and another in Hanoi,” Mitsugu Tamai, director and executive general manager for Aeon Mall’s Asean division, said yesterday.
The company is also studying the feasibility of business development in Thailand, Laos and Myanmar, and hopes to have its first Aeon Mall property in Thailand by 2020, he said.
Asked about the possible location and investment format for a Thai venture, Tamai suggested that an appropriate site would possibly be in the outskirts of Bangkok due to urbanisation and the growth of communities in such areas, while the project would be undertaken either though its own investment or via a joint venture.
Besides Aeon Mall BSD City in Indonesia, Aeon Mall currently operates at 24 locations in Malaysia and has one other shopping mall in Asean – in Phnom Penh – while another will soon be opened in the Cambodian capital.
In the new Phnom Penh project, Bangkok-based Major Cineplex Group is continuing its collaboration with the Japanese retailer to open another Major Cineplex operation at its second Aeon Mall in the country.
Vicha Poolvaraluk, chairman of Major Cineplex Group, said his company was investing about Bt200 million on a new theatre consisting of 10 screens, including an IMAX laser theatre, and 20 bowling lanes.
Other Thai companies – S&P, Fuji Restaurant, Jaspal and Black Canyon Coffee – are also interested in opening branches at the new mall.
Aeon Mall’s new project, which occupies an area of 100,000 square metres in Phnom Penh’s Pong Peay district, is scheduled to open in the first half of 2018.
Apart from Asean, the leading Japanese retailer is also focusing on China as a key destination for its overseas business expansion.
It currently has 11 shopping malls in the huge Chinese market.
“By 2020, we hope to have more than 10 per cent of our revenue contributed by overseas business, up from 2 to 3 per cent now.
Due to aggressive outlet expansion, the company aims to see a 120-per-cent year-on-year increase in terms of revenue from overseas markets,” Tamai said.
Aeon’s overall revenue came in at about ฅ8 trillion (Bt2.49 trillion) last year.