Fri, Dec 03, 2004 - Page 10 News List

Uni-President may dump Takashimaya

By Jackie Lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Uni-President Group (統一集團) is considering changing its partner in developing its first department store near the MRT Taipei City Hall station, the group's head Kao Ching-yuan (高清愿) said yesterday.

Having cooperated with Japan's Takashimaya Department Store for several years in operating the NT$1 billion (US$30 million) President Takashimaya Department Store (統一高島屋百華) in Taipei's Xinyi district, the inauguration date has nonetheless been delayed due to disagreements over rents.

The complex was originally expected to start operation two months ago.

Jason Lin (林蒼生), the group's chief executive officer, described the situation as a married couple on the brink of divorce.

"We will not give up on the project and will choose the best partner," Kao said.

He added that the final result would be confirmed around February, but refused to disclose candidates, despite speculation that Pacific Sogo Department Store (太平洋崇光百貨) and Taipei's Breeze Center (微風廣場) are potential candidates.

The presence of Henry Liao (廖鎮漢), Breeze's executive director, at yesterday's topping-off ceremony at Kaohsiung's Dream Mall (夢時代購物中心) aroused speculation that Breeze might be the one. Liao said Breeze is in talks with the group over many aspects of cooperation.

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