Suning plans to go global in next 10 years

By Hu Haiyan (China Daily)
Updated: 2011-06-21 13:43
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Suning plans to go global in next 10 years

An outlet of Suning Appliance Co in Nanjing, Jiangsu province. The company had 1,380 stores by the end of March. [Photo / China Daily] 

NANJING - Suning Appliance Co, China's largest home appliance retailer by sales volume, plans to open more stores, increase online sales and expand in overseas markets, company executives said.

"Suning's goal for the next 10 years is to become an international, world-class enterprise. During the next 10 years, we will invest more effort in overseas expansion and compete on a worldwide scale, which will bring us bigger challenges," Zhang Jindong, Suning president, said at a news conference in Nanjing, capital of East China's Jiangsu province, on Sunday.

Also at the event, Jin Ming, the CEO of Suning, said: "The volume of China's home appliance market will grow to 3.1 trillion yuan ($478.8 billion) by 2020. Suning intends to occupy 20 percent of China's home appliance market then."

Jin didn't disclose the company's current market share.

To achieve the goal, Suning will open at least 200 stores annually in the next 10 years, said Jiang Yong, the company's executive president.

Suning, whose rivals include Gome Electrical Appliances Holding Ltd, had 1,380 stores by the end of March.

Some of the new stores will be opened overseas.

"Suning will step into the Southeast Asian market from 2014 to 2015, and in 2016, we will enter the European and US markets through mergers and acquisitions, cooperation with our partners or strategic alliances," Jiang said.

"The revenue from the overseas markets will account for 15 percent of the total sales by 2020," he said.

The company has 32 stores in Hong Kong and Japan, the only overseas market it has entered. Suning executives didn't disclose their sales volume in the two markets.

Apart from adding stores, the company also wants to boost online sales.

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Ling Guosheng, general manager of Suning's e-commerce platform, said the company aims to expand its online sales by 50 percent a year in the next 10 years. It had 1.1 billion yuan in online-generated revenue in the first quarter of this year.

Last year, Suning's operating revenue increased to 20.58 billion yuan, a 23.16 percent increase over the previous year.

Suning is basking in the consumption boom in China, experts said.

Ren Xingzhou, director of the market research institute under the Development Research Center of the State Council, said that China's rapid urbanization and policy shift to boost consumption benefit retailers such as Suning.

"But this also means larger challenges for domestic retailers. The booming industry will definitely attract foreign competitors, and some of them are very experienced and competitive," Ren said.

Lu Jinyong, a professor at University of International Business and Economics, who specializes in foreign investment studies, said that Suning's ambition to go global comes at a time that the domestic market has been consolidating.

"With the development of Chinese retailers, it is natural for them to have the ambition to become world-class companies and go overseas to notch up more market share, but this is also a challenging process.

"When they step into the foreign markets, they should have a big enough business scale and enough knowledge of the local markets, otherwise, they will encounter setbacks," he said.