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Appliances retailer Edion eyes Southeast Asia debut

Former Sharp executives to lead growth strategy

OSAKA -- Japanese home appliances retailer Edion is considering expansion into Southeast Asia, President Masataka Kubo said Wednesday.

The Osaka-based company's predecessor once opened stores in Taiwan and Australia, but ended up exiting both markets. The retailer looks to set up shop abroad once again.

Edion also announced Wednesday that it will place two former Sharp executives in key strategic roles as of March 1. Akira Atarashi, who used to oversee Sharp's Asia operations, will lead Edion's environmentally friendly product and home improvement business. Kenichi Kodani, who headed Sharp's TV business, will be Atarashi's deputy.

"We will consider entering Asia using Mr. Atarashi's experience," Kubo said, expressing high hopes for the former Sharp executive's expertise in marketing home appliances. Indonesia is one potential market.

In the next year or two, Edion hopes to double its revenue from home improvement services in Japan as a portion of total sales to about 10%. The company entered the field about four years ago, but income from such services has topped out around 35 billion yen ($309 million).

Kubo views the "internet of things" and other technology as a key to bolstering that figure. "We are looking forward to input from a manufacturing point of view," he said.

(Nikkei)

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