(Source: Inside Retail Asia | 13 April 2016)
Despite economic growth cooling, Parkson Retail Group (PRG China) is confident about its shopping mall opening this month in Qingdao.
This confidence is underlined by an Asian Development Bank prediction that the Chinese economy will grow 6.5 per cent this year, with retail sales expanding 10.6 per cent in the first two months of this year.
A unit of Parkson Holdings in Malaysia, PRG has 57 department stores in China, with one already in Qingdao. Its latest store is in the new Lion Mall, which the group has acquired for nearly RM1 billion (US$258 million) from Shanghai Industrial Qingdao Development via its indirect unit Qingdao Lion Plaza Retail Management.
For the financial year ended June 30 last, the group’s China stores contributed about 70 per cent of Parkson Holdings’ revenue and profits.
Parkson’s first store in Qingdao opened in 1998, its brand equity providing the platform for the group to expand its market share and strengthen its foothold in the fast-growing market. Lion Mall will offer a fully integrated shopping experience, with Parkson and Foodpark as anchor tenants. There will be cinemas, fast-fashion brands, international cosmetics and accessories, F&B, entertainment and other amenities.
In the Laoshan district of Qingdao, a new financial and commercial hub, the mall is part of a fully integrated development known as the Beer City Project. It has a total gross floor area of about 230,000 sqm, of which about 130,000 sqm are for retail. There will be parking for 2000 cars.
An exit gate is planned as a direct link to the M2 subway line, which is under construction and will come into service next year.
On the group’s future plans, a spokesperson says a Lion Mall Phnom Penh in Cambodia is being developed, with the foundation works almost complete.
“Another development is Parkson City Centre in Phnom Penh, where Parkson has taken a lease of 36,500 sqm and will open the first Parkson department store in Cambodia with sub-tenants in the fourth quarter of this year.”
Parkson City Centre will include Golden Screen Cinema, making its debut in Cambodia, and Giant Supermarket’s second store.