• Kyodo News

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Supermarket chain Daiei Inc. said Friday it will close 20 outlets, about 10 percent of its total stores, by the end of February 2012 due to deteriorating earnings amid the slump in consumption.

Daiei did not specify the outlets to be closed. In addition, four outlets of a Daiei group grocery store, Gourmet City, will be closed by the end of next February.

Daiei also said it posted a group net loss of ¥23.67 billion in business 2008 ended Feb. 28, the first such loss in four years.

The loss was blamed chiefly on an extraordinary loss from the closure of unprofitable outlets while rehabilitating with help from retailer Aeon Co. and trading house Marubeni Corp.

Daiei logged a group operating profit of ¥5.93 billion, down 58.9 percent from the year before, on sales of ¥1.04 trillion, down 13.0 percent.

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