Mar. 22, 2012
Mercuries & Associates, Ltd.
Establishing Joint Drugstore Business Venture in Taiwan
Mercuries & Associates, Ltd. (Head Office: Taipei, Taiwan; President: Xiangli Chen; hereinafter, "Mercuries") and Sumitomo Corporation (Head Office: Chuo-ku, Tokyo; President and CEO: Susumu Kato) hereby announce that the two companies have agreed to establish a joint company in Taiwan to open drugstores in its capital city of Taipei with the aim of jointly developing the drugstore business in the island region.
<Background and Objectives>
Among emerging Asian markets, the Taiwanese market has recently witnessed a rapidly growing demand for beauty and healthcare products, which is driven by an increasing number of health- and beauty-conscious consumers. In light of this trend, Mercuries and Sumitomo Corporation see an ideal opportunity in Taiwan for launching a retail drugstore business that offers a broad range of products within this category, including cosmetics items and dietary supplements. As such, the two companies have agreed to a tie up that will establish a subsidiary for opening stores in the region. The plan is to set up a joint venture in Taipei around the summer of 2012 and launch three pilot stores on a trial basis in the capital city. The stores will aim to offer new, distinctive values and concepts that are widely appealing to Taiwanese consumers, including discerning and selective customers. Following operation of the initial pilot stores, Mercuries and Sumitomo Corporation will further promote the project jointly, seeking to expand the business to other areas of the island, and then to the wider Asian region, including mainland China.
As part of this recent Taiwan-Japan collaboration, it has been agreed that the new stores will be launched under the Tomod's brand, a drugstore chain operated throughout Japan by a subsidiary of Sumitomo Corporation. Based on this agreement, the two corporate groups intend to bring together their respective strengths to create and offer distinctive added value to customers. Specifically, Sumitomo Corporation will utilize its know-how on commodity composition, floor plans and sales promotion, among others, which has been amassed over years of operating the Tomod's chain. Mercuries will add its retailing capabilities to the partnership via logistics and merchandize procurement networks that the multi-market firm has developed through its Simple Mart supermarket chain operation.
<Mercuries's Retail Business>
Mercuries promotes diversified business development in Taiwan and mainland China. While principally engaged in commodity retailing in a number of forms, including department stores, supermarkets and retail chain shoe stores, the multifaceted group is also involved in an extensive range of business areas from fast food restaurant chains and the import/export of liquor and cigarettes, to insurance and TV programs. Among the many projects developed by Mercuries, the Simple Mart supermarket chain has seen remarkable growth in recent years, with over 260 stores operating as of the end of February 2012, which enjoy a high reputation among Taiwanese customers.
<Sumitomo Corporation's Drugstore Business>
Sumitomo Corporation is involved in a broad range of retail businesses, within which drugstore operation is led by SUMISHO DRUGSTORES INC., a wholly owned subsidiary of Sumitomo Corporation. Tomod's is one of the subsidiary's major drugstore chains, which features its own prescription department. With 138 stores operating as of the end of February 2012, mainly located in the Tokyo area, Tomod's is highly received by many Tokyo residents of all ages.
<Profile of Mercuries & Associates, Ltd.>
・Company name : Mercuries & Associates, Ltd.
・Head office : No. 145, Sec. 2, Chien Kuo N. Road, Taipei, Taiwan
・Paid-in capital : Approx. NT$6.09 billion (¥15.23 billion)
・Number of employees : 6,500, unconsolidated; 22,000 consolidated
(as of February 29, 2012)
・Establishment : February 1965
<Profile of Sumitomo Corporation>
・Company name: Sumitomo Corporation
・Head office : Harumi Island Triton Square Office Tower Y, 8-11 Harumi 1-chome,
Chuo-ku, Tokyo, Japan
・Paid-in capita l: Approx. ¥219.3 billion (NT$87.72 billion)
・Number of employees: 5,159, unconsolidated; 64,886 consolidated (as of March 31, 2011)
・Establishment : December 1919
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