Jusco Stores (Hong Kong) plans to extend service hours and introduce more of its brand-name products to compete with rival supermarkets. The company's Kornhill store has already extended its service by opening one hour earlier. 'It is a pilot project,' Jusco general manager Arnold Wong said. He said the company would review the policy in three months' time and determine whether other stores would follow. The extention could be seen as a response to the fact that more supermarkets were opening for business much earlier than usual, Mr Wong said. 'Unlike in the past, many supermarkets now open as early as 7.30 in the morning,' he said. The department store operator will also increase the proportion of its own brand - Top Valu - by 15 per cent. Mr Wong said the uniqueness of its own brand-name products could give the company another competitive edge other than price. Profit margins on these products were about 15 per cent higher than those bought from suppliers, he said. The Top Valu brand now covers about 1,000 items. Meanwhile, Mr Wong dismissed concerns the company's earnings could be adversely affected by the renovation of the Kornhill store. 'Since the store has already been run for 13 years, there were only a few fixed assets left to write off,' he said. The renovation made the store the biggest among the company's eight in Hong Kong. The store was partly closed for about four months. The project cost the company about HK$95 million. Mr Wong said the investment was expected to be recouped within two years. Kornhill store manager Susumu Takahashi expected the new design would attract more customers. He said the store's sales increased to HK$3 million on Monday - the first business day after the renovation. The figure was almost double the store's usual takings on average days. The company would invest another HK$40 million to renovate its Lok Fu store in autumn, Mr Takahashi said.