Japanese retailer AEON has announced plans to launch its Ministop convenience store network in Indonesia.

Aeon has signed an accord with PT Bahagia Niaga Lestari, a local retail unit of Udinda Co, to enable the roll-out of the stores, it said last week.

Under the contract, the first store will open in Jakarta by the end of February 2013, and Aeon estimates this will reach around 300 stores by February 2018.

Aeon hopes that the move will enable it to capitalise on the growth of the middle class and urbanisation in the market. The company predicted the number of middle income consumers in Asian countries will double to about 2bn by 2020 and the number of people living in urban areas to grow by 400m to 2.2bn in a decade.

The Ministop store format will offer products that meet local preferences, the retailer said.

Aeon’s Ministop convenience chain currently operates in China, South Korea, Vietnam and the Philippines. Ministop has 2,124 stores in Japan.

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