"It's time to go to China," Niinami said. "We have to take the 'fast-moving' advantage." Lawson will increase its stores in Chongqing to 100 from three and those in Shanghai to 360 from 330 by the end of next year. The company may spend as much as $200 million annually in China in about four years as it seeks to open as many as 10,000 stores by 2020, he said.
China's efforts to develop its less urbanized western regions has helped Chongqing attract more investment from companies including Hewlett-Packard Co. and Carlsberg A/S. Lawson's net income fell 32 percent to ¥4.08 billion in the three months ended May 31 as sales slipped 3.1 percent. The company aims to double operating profit to ¥100 billion by 2020. (The Japan Times)