Two models pose for an event organized by Chow Tai Fook in Hong Kong. (Photo/CNS)
Hong Kong jewelry retailer Chow Tai Fook is expanding rapidly in China, with a new outlet opening every two days, according to the Economic Weekly in Beijing.
The jewelry firm, which was founded in Hong Kong in 1929, first ventured across the border in 2005. It now has 1,532 outlets in mainland China, accounting for 94% of its 1,627 outlets around the world, according to the weekly. The company hopes to expand that number to 2,000 by 2014.
Chow Tai Fook owes its growth to China's booming jewelry market, which was worth 300 billion yuan (US$47.5 billion) in 2011 and is growing at 15% per year.
Gold is the company's best seller, according to Chen Shichang, the general manager of Chow Tai Fook China.
In 2011, the company recorded a net profit of 6.34 billion yuan (US$1 billion), representing a 79% growth over the previous year.
The company's rapid expansion has also created a great financial burden, as each new outlet costs at least 10 million yuan (US$1.57 million) to open, while a booth at a departmental store costs 3 million yuan (US$474,500) to open. Further, the company's plan to build three skyscrapers in Tianjin, Guangzhou and Shenzhen will cost more than 10 billion yuan (US$1.57 billion) per building.
In order to ease the burden, the company was trying to increase the number of its franchise stores from 20% of all its outlets to 30%, reported the Economic Weekly.