Carrefour to set up RM25m outlet in Putrajaya


BY YVONNE CHONG

MAGNIFICIENT Diagraph Sdn Bhd, the operator of Carrefour hypermarkets in Malaysia, will be investing RM25mil in its Putrajaya outlet, which is scheduled to be opened by the 2nd quarter of next year. 

The company, which now operates six outlets, has to date invested more than RM500mil in Malaysia. It will open its 7th outlet, to be located in Cheras, Kuala Lumpur, in the next few month. 

Its managing director Jean-Lu Montembault told reporters this after signing an “agreement to lease” and “lease agreement” with Putrajaya Holdings Sdn Bhd in Putrajaya yesterday. The agreements are for the leasing of space in Putrajaya's 1st shopping centre, located in Parcel Z9 in Precinct 1, for 30 years (15+15). 

The two-storey shopping centre, now in the final stages of construction, will have a net rentable area of 700,000 sq ft. 

Carrefour Putrajaya, the chain's 8th outlet in Malaysia, will have a total floor area of more than 5,000 sq m spread over two floors. 

“We are confident this store will be a success. The main essence of a hypermarket is its location. Putra-jaya promises to be the nerve centre of the nation and is supported by commercial hubs and public amenities, making it an ideal live-work environment,” Montembault said.  

“Combining this with Carrefour's guaranteed lowest prices, our non-compromising policy in providing merchandise of the highest quality and freshness, plus our customer-friendly shopping services, Carrefour Putrajaya is ready to take off,” he said. 

The shopping centre will target the growing population of Putrajaya and those within its periphery, including Kajang, Bangi, Puchong and Cyberjaya, estimated at 1.85 million by 2005 and 2.38 million by 2010. 

According to Montembault, competition in the retail sector is stiff but Carrefour will continue to grow at its own pace, opening one or two new outlets a year.  

The chain achieved profitability last year despite a lower turnover of RM811mil compared with RM824mil in 2001. 

Montembault attributed the profitability to the move to exit the wholesale business last year to concentrate solely on retail. 

Asked whether the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak had affected the Carrefour business, Montembault said: “We started the year quite well but if SARS continues to spread, we fear that there will a setback in the economy. We cannot foresee the impact that would cause. Otherwise, we will continue to grow.'' 

Montembault also said Magn-ficient Diagraph was now negotiating with an interested party to take up to 30% stake in the company and aimed to seal a partnership agreement by the end of the year. 

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