Japanese supermarket operator Aeon has said it plans to open more supercentres in order to meet increased demand for the larger stores, which sell low-priced products.

The company aims to open more than ten supercentres per year after 2006, up from the seven it currently operates, in order to better compete with US retail titan Wal-Mart, reported Reuters.

"In the current market where customers have a wide variety of tastes, supercentres have gained in popularity," Aeon spokesman Tadayoshi Kumagai was quoted as saying. "We'd like to open more supercentres from 2006 after we watch how things go until next year."