Mon, Jun 08, 2015 - Page 13 News List

Mall operations set to begin for Taipei company

By Amy Su  /  Staff reporter

Taipei real-estate developer Taroko Development Corp (大魯閣開發) is scheduled to join the nation’s shopping center industry by taking over a shopping mall in Taichung next month and launching another in Kaohsiung later this year, a company executive said.

The new business is expected to generate a combined revenue of NT$8 billion (US$257.8 million) next year for its parent company, Taroko Textile Corp (大魯閣纖維).

Taroko Development announced in the middle of last year that it had leased the Mode Mall (新時代購物中心) — near Taichung Station — from Fubon Life Insurance Co (富邦人壽) and would take over its operation on July 1 after renovations.

“Through the adjustment of operations strategy, the mall’s annual sales could reach NT$4.5 billion in 2017,” chief executive David Kuo (郭大睿) told a news conference.

The company plans to spend NT$300 million next year on redecorating the mall to help raise its sales target in 2017 above the NT$3 billion recorded last year, Kuo said.

The Taichung shopping center is a community-based department store, a style that has strong growth potential in the nation’s second-tier cities, while investment is smaller than in malls in the largest population centers, Kuo said.

That is in line with the company’s strategy to “focus more on operations and less on assets,” Kuo said.

Therefore, Taroko might expand its shopping center business by focusing on mid-sized department stores, aiming to launch one new store per year in the future, Kuo said.

Regions like Danhai New Town (淡海新市鎮) in New Taipei City and Hsinchu County’s Chupei City (竹北) are possible locations under consideration.

However, other than taking over management of the mall in Taichung, the company is ready to launch a large shopping center in Kaohsiung by the end of this year.

With the authorization of Suzuka Circuit of Japan, a racing venue, Taroko is set to establish a kart racing track at Taroko Park Kaohsiung (大魯閣草衙道), making it a shopping center with multiple entertainment and sports facilities.

Taroko Development chairman Jeff Tsai (蔡明璋) said the Kaohsiung mall could generate NT$4.5 billion sales a year, with more than 80 percent of its 300 tenancies already filled.

Various international casual wear brands, such as Timberland, Nautica and Napapijri, as well as sportswear brands including Nike, Adidas and Under Armour, are set to launch stores in the mall, Tsai added.

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