JUST Gold, the retail chain owned by Henry Jewellery Group, is embarking on a $100 million drive to expand its presence in Hong Kong and to establish in Taiwan. Managing director Stanley Wong said the company had seen rapid growth, particularly this year, since its establishment in June 1991. It now has nine shops in Hong Kong and one in Macau, and he expects the number of outlets in the territory to increase to 15 by March next year. Just Gold, which sells fashionable items to younger, fashion-conscious customers, has created a stir in the traditional gold industry. Mr Wong said most old-fashioned gold and jewellery operators were not keen to change product styles and that created an opportunity for his company. The strategy of opening sale counters at department stores had fuelled a strong growth in the chain's business, he said. The success in securing a merchandise licence from Walt Disney early this year was another factor for Just Gold's ''faster-than-expected'' development. ''We find the partnership with department stores very successful. Our outlets at these stores managed to become profitable from the first day in operation,'' Mr Wong said. ''It is our competitive edge. There is no way for traditional gold shops to gain such access, and they are usually not welcomed by department stores.'' Mr Wong said Just Gold would adopt the same strategy in establishing its operation in Taiwan. It aimed to open six shops in Taiwan within 12 months, he said. Just Gold's ambition to expand to Taiwan was largely due to the overwhelming response of Taiwan customers at a promotional sale in April. Mr Wong said the gold market in Taiwan was about three times that of the Hong Kong market. Based on the current operations of its 10 outlets, Mr Wong estimated that annual turnover could reach $400 million, rising to $1 billion in two years. He also said the company would aim for a public listing within three years. Mr Wong said the company was finalising a deal to take a 50 per cent interest in a gold manufacturing venture in Beijing.