Japanese retailer AEON Co. has announced that it will postpone plans to open 100 of its supermarkets in China by 2011.

The company said today (5 June) that such plans would be put on hold until the end of fiscal 2012 because of lower than expected demand on the Chinese mainland.

Aeon, which operates outlets in Guangdong and other coastal provinces across China, has been especially hit harder by the tough business conditions than competitors such as Ito-Yokado.

The company plans to limit openings to seven this fiscal year, and intends to have 50 large stores in China as of the end of fiscal 2010, almost double the 28 it currently operates.