Japanese retail giant Aeon has announced plans to quadruple its annual investment in international operations while cutting back on domestic growth.

The changes are part of a three-year programme unveiled after it warned of a fall in profits at both its Jusco and Talbots operations.

Over the next three years, Aeon will invest ¥160 billion (£773.5 million) on its international operations, focusing on China and other Asian markets. It plans to have 190 stores in China, Malaysia and Thailand by the end of the period, up from 50 at present.

In Japan, Aeon is to reduce new-store investment by 25 to 30 per cent, to between ¥840 billion and ¥900 billion (£4.06 billion and£4.35 billion) and will concentrate on improving existing store profitability.

The retailer said the number of store openings in Japan would be slashed to a single-digit figure, after double-digit annual openings over the past 10 years.

* Best Buy is considering partnering with domestic Chinese home appliance retail giant GOME Electrical Appliances, according to reports.

Best Buy purchased Jiangsu Five Star Appliance for US$180 million (£90.6 million) in 2006 and opened its first self-branded store in Shanghai last year.