A parental hand helped launch Huang Maoru’s business career. Upon retiring, Huang senior bought a substantial amount of land in Shenzhen’s Buji district and distributed it among his sons to develop. They began a series of high-profile developments, and the family business thrived. Maoye City was Huang’s own contribution to the business.
In 1995, Huang established the Maoye Group, which went on to complete a string of real estate projects. Perhaps the most notable is the World Financial Centre. Completed in 2003, the tower has become a Shenzhen landmark.
But what really moved Huang ahead was his move into the retail industry. In 1996, he established Shenzhen Maoye Emporium, followed a year later by the opening of his first department store, Maoye Dongmen.
Huang’s experience in real estate came has helped him build his retail business. Unlike many of his competitors, Maoye also owns the buildings that house his stores, insulating them from rent pressures. Other department store brands, such as Parkson and Wangfujing, have seen their operating costs hit by rent rises and are now looking to emulate the Maoye model by owning their own properties.
Need to know
Maoye has 39 stores in 20 cities across China, and it is currently growing at a rate of at least five new stores per year. The company’s focus is on the second and third-tier cities, and it has not yet opened a store in Beijing, Shanghai or Guangzhou. Huang has said that he would like to enter these major markets but that, for the foreseeable future, his developing city portfolio offers opportunities enough.
One of Huang’s major talents is his strength in using the capital markets to raise funds – he has two A-share listed companies and one H-share firm. But international investors will be most familiar with Maoye International, which listed in Hong Kong in 2008, raising $343 million. The company’s sales in 2010 of Rmb7.2 billion ($1.1 billion) represented a 50% increase on 2009.
With a net worth of Rmb18.5 billion, Huang Maoru and his wife Zhang Jing took the 41st place on the 2010 Hurun Rich List.
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