TOKYO -- Japanese retailer Aeon will speed the expansion of indoor theme parks in Asia as it targets growth in the region's entertainment sector amid stiffer local retail competition.
Over the next three years, Aeon seeks to double the number of locations to 660. The retailer also hopes to boost sales at least tenfold to 125 billion yen ($1.13 billion) by fiscal 2025.
Subsidiary and operator Aeon Fantasy will open 370 locations abroad in the next three years. That is around a 50% increase compared with the previous three years through fiscal 2016. In China, 200 locations will be added to 165 existing ones, and 30 to 45 in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines, where the company expanded in 2014. Rising incomes have increased demand for such amusement facilities in Asia.
Aeon Fantasy will open locations in Aeon group shopping centers and other commercial facilities. The subsidiary is getting requests to open locations in countries where it already has a presence. "We will act as the second anchor tenant in commercial facilities," Aeon Fantasy President Nao Kataoka said.
Aeon Fantasy's amusement facilities range from its coin-operated arcade brand Molly Fantasy to indoor parks like Kidzoona that are furnished with experiential equipment like ball pits.
The company will feature more equipment offered only at its facilities, whether developed in-house or secured through exclusive contracts. Currently, 27% of Aeon's equipment is exclusive, but it will increase that portion to 40% over the next three years.