FamilyMart is proud to announce that the number of stores in China has now reached 1,005, as of September 30, 2012, meaning that in little over 8 years we have opened over 1,000 stores in that country. FamilyMart now has the biggest store network within China of any convenience-store chain originating in Japan.
FamilyMart opened its first store in China in Shanghai in July 2004. Since that time, we have expanded our presence into the major cities of Guangzhou (January 2007), Suzhou (September 2007) and Hangzhou (December 2011). In June 2012, we opened our first store in the Chinese interior, in Chengdu.
FamilyMart stores in China leverage the distribution infrastructure of our partner, the Ting Hsin Group -- a leading Chinese food products group -- and more than 20 years of expertise cultivated through the operation of Taiwan FamilyMart, which was established in 1988. We have combined these strengths with assets cultivated in Japan, such as our trademark customer hospitality, and know-how in production of ready-to-eat items and in product selection.
By encouraging customers to come into FamilyMart stores several times a day, by offering breakfast, lunch and evening meal items under the "Everybody eat three times (a day) at FamilyMart" concept, we aim to become the leading convenience store chain in China in terms of both product quality and sales volume, by tailoring lineups to lifestyle needs of our customers.
In terms of product strategy, examples of this approach are our breakfast set meals comprising drinks and steamed meat buns, and the affordable Quanmin biandang bento for the lunch break. This is supported by our store operation expertise, including installation of eat-in areas where people can consume their purchases, satisfying the strong Chinese preference for immediate consumption.
By 2015, FamilyMart Group aims to have a global network of 25,000 stores, of which 4,500 will be in China. The total for 2020 is 40,000 stores, of which 8,000 will be in China. We now plan to open stores in the northern area of the country around Beijing and the central region centered on Wuhan.
We aim to continue development of our operations in China, supported by our customers there.