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Friday, November 8, 2013

AEON sets its sight on Sabah, Sarawak

Friday, 08 November 2013 10:00 
Sathish Govind 

Aeon Co (M) Bhd is looking to expand its retail outlets into Sabah and Sarawak to further strengthen its presence in the retail segment in Malaysia, its GM of human resource merchandising division, Audrey Lim Suan Imm, said.

“We are in the middle of identifying location or locations in East Malaysia and we hope to make the necessary announcements by early next year," she said at the launch of the “Okinawa Food Fair” in Petaling Jaya yesterday.
The company had earlier said that it planned to open six outlets between 2014 and 2016 in Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, Perak, Selangor and Terengganu.

On the company’s strategy, Lim said the company, aside from focusing on the major towns in Peninsular Malaysia, is also now looking at expanding throughout the country.

She said this is necessary as it will allow the company to have less concentration of income from a few areas, which will not be good for the company in the long term.

On the outlook of the retail industry and the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), she said the implementation of the GST will have minimal impact on the company’s earnings.

Lim said from the experience of other countries that had introduced the GST, it was seen that consumers initially would spend less but soon revert to their earlier purchasing habits before the implementation of the GST.

She added that the GST will only come into force on April 1, 2015, and thus will not have any material effect on its earnings for the financial years ending 2013 and 2014.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak, while unveiling Budget 2014, indicated that the Sales and Service Tax will be abolished to be replaced by a single tax known as the GST, to be enforced on April 1, 2015, at a rate of 6%.

Najib said there will be no GST levied on essential food items, transport services, including toll payments, purchases and rental of residential properties and selected financial services.

On the outlook of the retail sector, Lim said she is positive about the retail sector, adding that consumers are generally looking for convenience in shopping, which AEON retail outlets provide.

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