BEIJING, Jan. 18 (Xinhua) -- The retail landscape in China remains vibrant and continues to draw global retail giants. In recent interviews with Xinhua, several leaders of multinational retailers expressed optimistic outlooks for the Chinese market as their companies actively strengthen their presence in the country.
A prime example is the Japanese retail group Aeon, which currently operates nearly 400 stores of various forms in China, with plans to unveil three new shopping centers in Changsha and Hangzhou over the next two years.
Aeon sees promising development opportunities in China as the country's stable economic growth is poised to expand the middle-income demographic, which is Aeon's target customer group, said Goto Toshiya, chairman of Aeon China.
In November, fast-food giant McDonald's announced the decision to ramp up its stake in its China business from 20 percent to 48 percent. "This underscores McDonald's confidence in the development and business environment of the Chinese market," said Phyllis Cheung, CEO of McDonald's China.
China is the company's second-largest market with nearly 6,000 restaurants, and the fastest-growing one, making it the core growth engine for the company's global operations in the next five years, according to Cheung.
In the meantime, businesses are adapting to evolving consumer scenes and consumption trends in China, with some shifting their focus from foot traffic to customer retention.
Wang Tingting, vice president of Decathlon China, highlighted the sports industry in China as a rapidly developing blue ocean market. Decathlon not only provides sports equipment but also delivers diversified services, creating a comprehensive sports solution.
In the dynamic Chinese consumer market, McDonald's China's local R&D center launches over 200 new products annually to respond to rapidly changing demand, according to Cheung.
The retail industry in China is also undergoing a rapid digital transformation, fostering the integration of various online and offline business formats. Cheung said that McDonald's China has over 260 million members on its digital platform and digital orders constitute over 90 percent.
Leveraging China's advantages in the supply chain, companies are improving their industry layout. Since 2003, Decathlon has operated a full industry chain business in China, including product design, production, logistics, branding and retail sales.
China is Decathlon's first overseas market with a complete industry chain layout, said Wang, stressing that 94.2 percent of Decathlon's products sold in China are produced domestically and the goal is to achieve 100 percent.