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Ashok Pathirage

Sri Lanka’s Odel PLC (Odel) is aiming at upgrading its Ward Place Odel flagship store to improve quality of offerings to customers and plans to build a Mega Mall of 300,000 sq. feet adjoining the Odel flagship store along with car park amenities. Addressing shareholders at the release of the 2014 Annual Report, Chairman of Odel PLC (Odel), Ashok Pathirage said the Mall is projected to be completed within three years.

“We intend to bring our Softlogic Brands portfolio to Odel. During the year, ‘Mothercare’ has already been promoted inside Odel stores. We continue to develop customer care to enhance and facilitate standards and to bring our retail store floor space to international standards. We will be also launching Bodyshop branded products at Odel in the Q3 of FY2015/2016,” Pathirage said.

He noted that whilst the company serves customers through 20 stores, their new Business Model aims at smaller outlets and one Big Mall.

“Thus, we have closed down some of our bigger outlets including Maharagama and Jaela, with other outlets currently under evaluation,” Pathirage said.

Soflogic Holdings Plc initially acquired nearly a 45% stake in Odel for over Rs.2.7 billion and since then has gradually increased its stake to 93% of issued share capital of the company by acquiring a further 47.46% stake for over Rs.2.8 billion from Parkson Retail Asia Ltd (PRA), the Singapore-listed department store subsidiary of Parkson Holdings Bhd. The total investment in acquisition that was concluded in mid-September 2014 amounted to over Rs.5.5 billion.

Odel acquired 99.99% of Softlogic Brands Private Ltd on 20th March 2015 for a total consideration of over Rs. 599.99 million from Softlogic Retail Pvt Ltd and Dai Nishi Securities, which are subsidiaries of Softlogic Holdings PLC.

Analysts have outlined that the retail sales worldwide will reach US $22.492 trillion this year, and that the global retail market will see steady growth over the next few years. In 2018, worldwide retail sales are projected to increase by 5.5% to reach US $ 28.3 trillion.

“We will continue to invest in the businesses that give us profitable returns and opportunities for capital appreciation over the next 3 – 5 years. Softlogic’s Retail operations have plans to increase island-wide expansion of retail space and our brand acquisitions are backed by careful assessments. Softlogic Retail has ambitious plans to target a total retail space of 335,000sq.ft. in three years,” Chairman Pathirage said. (AR)