Tesco to spend big on expansionBy Sharen Kaur
Tesco Stores (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd plans to invest RM280 million and open four more hypermarkets over the 12 months, from March this year.
This would bring the number of stores it has nationwide to 40.
According to Azlam Shah Alias, the company's government relations and legal affairs director, Tesco Malaysia has the approvals for the new stores.
The approvals were obtained prior to the government issuing a cap on new foreign hypermarket licences.
Tesco Malaysia chief executive officer Tjeerd Jegen is bullish on business this year.
"We expect to close the year with double-digit growth," he said yesterday in Mutiara Damansara, Selangor, after the closing of the SME Fair promotion.
Last year, Tesco Malaysia made RM3.6 billion in revenue.
Tesco Malaysia started operations here in 2002 and has invested over RM3 billion. Since 2006, it has been opening four to six stores a year.
Last year, it decided to open seven stores, and so far, five have been opened.
Jegen said the final two stores will open in Manjung, Perak, on January 14, and in Putra Nilai, Negri Sembilan, on February 28.
"Customers have regained confidence because of the positive economic outlook. We will continue to grow and offer space for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to set up shop.
"We are also encouraging our existing suppliers, mainly SMEs, to export their products to the UK, China, India and South Korea, where we have set up many stores," Jegen said.
Currently 20 products from Malaysian SMEs are being exported to the UK.
The SME Fair, which ran for two weeks in December, had showcased more than 70 products, mainly household items by 23 local SMEs.