PriceSmart China, which operates under a license from US retailer PriceSmart Inc, has said that it plans to open 14 stores next year.

The company said that its mainland stores that have been open longer than one year are profitable, despite intense competition, reported Reuters

PriceSmart China was granted a licence by San Diego-based PriceSmart in 1996 to open stores under its brand and now operates 13 PriceSmart outlets in China, as well as 27 N-Mart stores.

The company plans to open ten N-Mart stores next year and four PriceSmart stores.

"The membership PriceSmart stores will focus on middle to high-end tier-one cities," Fu Lu Yong, executive vice president of PriceSmart China, told Reuters.

"For N-Mart, we're targeting second-tier cities, which will be difficult for Wal-Mart to enter," Fu said. 

Foreign retail giants such as Carrefour, Metro and Wal-Mart are increasing their presence in China, leading to tough competition in the retail sector.