Wed, Nov 05, 2003 - Page 11 News List

Mall to open by end of 2005

By Amber Chung  /  STAFF REPORTER

The President Group (統一集團) plans to open its yet-to-be-built Dream Mall in Kaohsiung (夢時代購物中心) by the end of 2005, making it the largest shopping mall in southern Taiwan, the business conglomerate said yesterday at a press conference.

"We aim to create a shopping environment like Paris's Champs Elysees to attract world-renowned brands," Yeh Chih-Chung (葉致中), president of Tung Li Development Co Ltd (統立開發), said.

Tung Li is wholly owned by the President International Development Corp (統一國際開發), which is the President Group's holding company.

The shopping complex will include five flagship stores and 18 big-box users. The flagship stores will be a department store, a medium to small-sized department store aimed at female customers, a hypermarket, a cinema and an indoor theme park. The big-box users include furniture stores, bookstores, 3C stores, gyms and restaurants.

Seventeen companies have signed a Letter of Offer with owners, including Leofoo Village Theme Park, Eslite Bookstores, Cinemarks, Aurora, Working House and Toys `R' Us.

Twelve companies that have signed a Letter of Intention (LOI) include Carrefour, HOLA, Muji, Lawry's The Prime Rib Restaurant and Starbucks.

Tung Li is expected to invest up to NT$17.5 billion project, according to Yeh.

"We expect to draw 10 million people to our mall every year and create an estimated annual sales of up to NT$18 billion in the first year," Yeh said.

Tung Li has also bought 25,000-ping worth of land opposite the proposed mall site and is planning to develop it into a low-density, leisure resort for restaurants, mirroring Xintiendi (新天地) in Shanghai or Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco, Yeh said.

"We expect an annual 4 percent increase in sales after the first year," Yeh said. "We hope to break even after nine years."

One industry veteran said the key to success for Dream Mall lies in the operation of its indoor theme park.

"If the theme park is successful, then NT$18 billion in annual sales would not be an inaccessible goal," David Peng (彭正宇), secretary general of the Retailers Association of Chinese Taipei (百貨業協會), told the Taipei Times yesterday.

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