Japanese retail group Aeon expects to have a minimum of 2,000 stores in China by 2020

China will be in the focus of Aeon’s Asian expansion, while the group will also pay attention to markets like Malaysia and Thailand.

Capital expenditure in China and other southeast Asian countries accounted for just 8% of the total budget between 2007 and 2009, but that will rise to 25% of the ¥830bn (£6.4bn) set aside for the 2011 to 2013 period.

Aeon also plans to expand its workforce by 200,000 by 2020, with 80% of the recruits being non-Japanese.