China boost for retail giants

8 February 2005 – Beijing (CHN): The Chinese retail market showed consistent growth in 2004, with sales at Wal-Mart rising by nearly a third and sales at Carrefour growing by a fifth, according to data from the Chinese commerce ministry.

Wal-Mart posted a 31 per cent jump in sales in 2004 to ¥7.6 billion ($918 million), with the number of stores rising 30 per cent to 43.

Carrefour, the world’s second largest retailer, posted sales of Â¥16.2 billion ($1.96 billion) last year, up 21 per cent from 2003. The number of stores surged 51 per cent to 62.

Measured by sales, Carrefour ranked fifth among China’s top 30 retailers, while Wal-Mart slipped to 20th position from 16th in 2003 despite strong sales. Shanghai Brilliance Group was China’s top retailer, posting sales of Â¥67.6 billion ($8.2 billion).

The ministry disclosed that combined sales of the top 30 retailers rose 33 per cent last year to ¥385 billion ($46.5 billion).