Japanese retailer Daiei has said that it plans to open its first new stores in three years and improve existing stores using money from a fund set up by a state-run bank and its creditors.

Daiei said it would open five new stores in the financial year starting 1 March. The retailer is hoping to increase its sales, which have been sluggish of late. Daiei was aiming to cut its debt by closing stores and laying off staff but slow sales have forced it to look at other options, reported Reuters.

Daiei also announced it would team up with affiliated retailer Maruetsu for procurement and distribution. Maruetsu's president, Heichachiro Yoshino is to join Daiei as an advisor.