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Pxmart announces new CEO, plans to build 300 new stores

Xu Zhong-ren (徐重仁), a famed manager who used to work for the 7-Eleven chain store corporation, will helm the operation of Pxmart Co. Ltd. (全聯福利中心), the largest supermarket chain store in Taiwan.

Pxmart held a press conference yesterday to announce Xu's appointment as the company's chief executive officer. The appointment was effective on Jan. 1. The company also announced its operational strategic directions for the new year in the conference.

Pxmart Chairman Lin Ming-hsiung (林敏雄) said last year that the company aims to add 300 new stores in the next five years.

Lin joined Pxmart in 1998 when there were only 66 stores, but the number of stores were expanded by ten-fold to 700 over the past 15 years. In 2011, Pxmart surpassed Carrefour to become the largest retailer in Taiwan.

Pxmart currently has about 700 stores in Taiwan, and its revenue reached NT$70 billion in 2013. Pxmart expanded ambitiously in the last couple of years, and is leading its local competitors Wellcome and Matsusei by miles, according to a local source. Now Pxmart is putting pressure on larger retailers such as Carrefour Taiwan (家樂福) and RT-Mart (大潤發).

A Successful Manager at 7-Eleven

Xu was the general manager of President China Store Corporation (統一超商), the company that operates 7-Eleven chain stores in Taiwan. He retired in 2012, and now chairs the Commerce Development Research Institute and teaches at a couple of local universities.

Xu worked at President China for 35 years, and served as its general manager for 26 years. He was widely considered as the man that transformed 7-Eleven into a super successful business.

Pxmart offers grocery products at lower prices, and brands itself as the “good neighbor in the community.”

Pxmart was established fifteen years ago, and is now the leading player in the retailing business. Xu will now direct the company's operation in the next 15 years, Pxmart said.

While 7-Eleven is the largest convenience stores in Taiwan, Pxmart is the largest retailer in Taiwan, raking in NT$70 billion in annual sales.

Other Retailers' Comments

The public relation office of Carrefour Taiwan (家樂福) said that Pxmart is Carrefour's competitor, and would not comment on Xu's appointment. However, Carrefour predicts that Pxmart will roll out new services in the near future, as Xu is very experienced in running retailing logistics.

The public relation office of RT-Mart (大潤發), another major retailer in Taiwan, said that Xu's appointment would not impact RT-Mart's operation, and stressed that there is a big difference in supermarket and convenience store operation.

Starting in 2014, Pxmart starts to accept credit card payments, and the new form of payment has been proven effective. Sales on January 1, 2014 grew more than 30 percent, compared with the same day in 2013. The number of visitors also increased more than 25 percent.

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Pxmart (全聯福利中心) Chairman Lin Ming-hsiung (林敏雄), right, and Xu Zhong-ren (徐重仁), left, pose for a photo at a press conference, yesterday. Lin announced Xu's appointment as the company's new chief executive officer and put forth the company's new strategic directions for the new year. (CNA)

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