Daiei Inc. is expected to name Yasuyuki Higuchi, 47, current president of Hewlett-Packard Japan Ltd., as its new president, company sources said Thursday.

The retailer, struggling to rebuild itself under the state-backed Industrial Revitalization Corp. of Japan, values Higuchi’s experience as a management consultant and his familiarity in businesses in the information technology area, they said.

Higuchi, with a master of business administration degree from Harvard University, has been president of Hewlett-Packard Japan since May 2003. He previously served at Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. and Apple Japan Inc.

Earlier this month, Daiei announced a sweeping management reshuffle, with Fumiko Hayashi, 58, a renowned former president of BMW Tokyo Corp., as chairwoman and chief executive officer.

Hewlett-Packard Japan said Thursday that Higuchi will leave its presidency on May 31.

The appointments of the two are expected to be formalized after approval by the companies’ shareholders at their general meeting in late May.

New store opens

OSAKA (Kyodo) Daiei Inc. opened its first outlet in Osaka on Thursday after the troubled supermarket chain gained shareholder approval for its entire management reshuffle.

The new outlet, specializing in food, is expected to serve as a test of its reconstruction plan that puts more emphasis on food instead of on a wide range of products as it had in the past. In addition to food, the 2,100-sq.-meter store stocks a limited selection of cosmetics and medicine.

Daiei hopes the store, which will be open from 9 a.m. to midnight every day of the year, can rake in annual sales of 3 billion yen.

Located inside a large commercial complex in Hirakata, the new outlet opened early in the morning.

A 66-year-old woman said it would be more convenient for her to shop at a different supermarket closer to her home in the city.

“But I want to support Daiei, so I hope this store does well,” she said.

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