Thu, Feb 28, 2013 - Page 13 News List

FamilyMart aims to boost profits with expansion plan

By Amy Su  /  Staff reporter

Taiwan FamilyMart Co (全家便利商店), one of the nation’s largest convenience store operators, aims to boost revenue this year by establishing more big stores with dining spaces and offering more fresh produce, a company official said yesterday.

The convenience store chain is also bidding to boost its standing in the restaurant sector this year, following its acquisition of a full stake in a Taiwan-based subsidiary of Ootoya Holdings — a Japanese operator of restaurant chains — in September last year.

“The company’s strong revenue performance over the Lunar Year holiday has allowed us to maintain an optimistic outlook this year,” FamilyMart chairman Pan Chin-ting (潘進丁) said at a media briefing.

FamilyMart posted record-high revenue during the Lunar New Year that showed a 10 percent increase compared with last year’s Lunar New Year holiday, indicating that improving sentiment about the global economy has been increasing the momentum in the retail sector, Pan said.

However, Pan said the company will have to carry out more expansion plans this year as this would be a major driver for revenue and profitability.

To achieve this, FamilyMart is planning to launch 200 new convenience stores, as well as aiming to remodel 300 existing stores to the more profitable outlets that offer large dining spaces, company president Chang Ren-dun (張仁敦) said.

The expansion is expected to bring the total number of FamilyMart stores to 2,900 from 2,850 by the end of the year, with the number of stores in the new style accounting for about 50 percent of all shops, an increase of 17 percent from the current 33 percent, Chang added.

The store expansion and refurbishing plan will cost FamilyMart an estimated NT$1.6 billion (US$53.86 million), which is nearly 70 percent of the NT$2.6 billion it has budgeted for its total capital expenditure this year, Chang said.

With an eye on the potential of the dine-out market, the company also plans to further its food business, hoping to boost revenue from its food and beverage unit by 20 percent this year from the NT$7.7 billion that it earned last year.

FamilyMart — which owns two restaurant brands, Volks and Ootoya — has also said that maintaining its multi-brand strategy will be part of its efforts to achieve long-term competitiveness.

The company launched its first Volks restaurant, a Japanese steakhouse, in 2011. The brand is managed by its subsidiary, Family International Gourmet Co (全家國際餐飲).

FamilyMart plans to open one Volks restaurants and two Ootoya — which offers Japanese set meals — venues this year. The expansion would take the total number of the restaurants to three and 20 respectively, Chang said.

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