AEON, Japan’s largest retailer will open a shopping mall in Yangon by 2023. AEON will be partnering with Myanmar conglomerate Shwe Taung Group.
The new shopping mall will target Myanmar’s middle class, whose spending power is expected to rise significantly in the coming years.
AEON has been present in Myanmar since 2012, with establishing a consumer-finance business under Aeon Microfinance (Myanmar) Co., Ltd in 2013. In 2014, Aeon established a representative office in Myanmar and has conducted research on developing retail business in the country ever since.
In 2016, AEON formed a joint venture with Myanmar retailer Creation Myanmar Group of Companies (CMGC) called AEON Orange Co., Ltd. It then acquired assets including 14 supermarkets in Yangon and Mandalay operated by Hypermart Asia Co., Ltd, an affiliate of CMGC.
AEON opened its first supermarket in Yangon in May 2019, which offers a wide-range of products from clothing, electronics and household items to dining options, in addition to groceries offered at the 14 supermarkets.
With its 53 million population, Myanmar continues to grow rapidly despite the ongoing global slowdown and domestic uncertainties (World Bank, January 2020). Among the ASEAN member states, Myanmar recorded the highest GDP growth rate with average annual growth of 9.8%, followed by Cambodia and Lao PDR with 7.7% and 7.1% respectively (ASEANstats 2019).
The service sector is the main driver of growth in Myanmar and is expected to grow by 8.4% in 2018-19. The opening of the mall is part of the group’s strategy to strengthen its position in the ASEAN market.
AEON generated JPY 33.8 billion (US$315 million) profit from SEA’s operations in the fiscal year to February 2019, nearly 20% of its total profits. “We will continue our targeted investment in Asia,” said Akio Yoshida, new President of AEON.
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