Thu, May 18, 2006 - Page 12 News List

President Chain to open lifestyle stores

By Jackie Lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

President Chain Store Corp (統一超商), operator of the world's third-largest 7-Eleven franchise, yesterday signed an agreement with Japan's Plazastyle Corp to introduce a new brand of lifestyle stores targeting fashion-savvy females.

But both parties declined to reveal the royalty charges and other terms.

The new chain, to be marketed under the name Minipla, will sell confectionery, stationery, greeting cards, household wares, cosmetics, clothing, toys and character goods, said Bonnie Chao (趙仁安), President Chain's public relations official.

"The product portfolio is similar to MUJI's. The main difference is that MUJI sells own-designed products but Minipla will bring together fashionable items from around the world, especially Europe and the US," Chao said.

President Chain plans to open the first Minipla outlet in the first quarter of next year and expand this 100-percent owned entity to 10 stores by 2010 for total revenue of NT$1 billion (US$31.7 million), Hsu Chung-jen (徐重仁), head of President Chain, said after a press conference yesterday.

Hsu would not reveal business targets but a report issued from Tokyo on Friday said Plazastyle hopes its first branching out project can generate revenue of ?2.5 billion (US$22.8 million) per annum.

Plazastyle will channel its management know-how and help President Chain with product purchases. Women aged between 20 and 40 will be the targeted customer base, Chao said.

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