Aeon to post 1,000 new grads in Asia

Kyodo

Retail giant Aeon Co. plans to station more than 1,000 new employees, all college graduates, in China and Southeast Asia from this year to accelerate its overseas expansion, company officials said Wednesday.

They will account for one-third of more than 3,000 college graduates Aeon and its group companies at home and abroad will recruit in fiscal 2012, which starts in April.

Aeon intends to recruit 5,000 college graduates in fiscal 2013, of whom more than 1,000 will be posted abroad, the officials said.

These recruits may include non-Japanese workers to be employed by Aeon’s overseas subsidiaries.

Aeon and other Japanese retailers have been expanding into overseas markets as the Japanese market shrinks due to the aging population and falling birthrate.

Under the midterm business plan through fiscal 2013, the company has vowed to enhance its expansion into Asia and has already opened 100 supermarkets in China, Malaysia and Thailand.

Its convenience store chain, Ministop Co., has opened stores in South Korea and three other Asian economies, while its financial arm, Aeon Credit Service Co., is operating in nine Asian countries, including Cambodia.

In the future, Aeon hopes to open stores in Laos and Indonesia, indicating the retailer increasingly will be required to employ foreign workers familiar with local languages and practices and train young Japanese employees to work overseas.