LINGERIE maker Top Form International is planning to establish department stores in Dalian and Chengdu to expand its retail presence in China. The ventures will be in addition to the current $200 million development of a 215,000 sq ft shopping centre in Shanghai. Chairman Frank Lo Kit-lun said Top Form would take a 17.5 per cent stake in a joint-venture property development in Dalian, which would incorporate a 200,000 sq ft department store. The project with Playmates International Holdings and New World Development involved a total investment of about $200 million, he said. Managing director Eddie Wong Chung-chong said Top Form was also negotiating for a property project in Chengdu, which could provide more than 600,000 sq ft of floor space. He said the project would be 60 per cent owned by Hong Kong partners, including Top Form, adding that the company's actual share interest was not yet finalised. Top Form yesterday signed a franchise agreement with Paris-listed department store group France Printemps for its retail operation in China. The agreement entitles Top Form to use the Printemps name and logo for its proposed upmarket department store in Shanghai, and to utilise the French group's operating methods, management systems, interior design services, sourcing and advertising and promotion skills. Experienced French management will also be made available to Top Form in Shanghai. Under a territorial development agreement, Top Form may develop further stores under the Printemps name in China over the next few years. Mr Lo said the proposed stores in Dalian and Chengdu would operate under the Printemps name. The Shanghai department store project, a joint venture with Shanghai Yi Min Department Store General Corp, would open by the third quarter of next year, he said. Turnover of the Shanghai store is expected to reach 300 million yuan (about HK$402 million at the official rate) in the first year of operation, with a projected annual growth of about 15 per cent.