Fashion retailer aims to boost total shop numbers to about 1,500 by the end of the year Fashion retailer Glorious Sun Enterprises plans to spend more than $2 billion to open more than 200 outlets this year. This will increase the total number of its shops to about 1,500 by the end of the year from 1,278 now. More than 170 of the new shops will be in the mainland, according to chairman Charles Yeung Chun-kam. The total also includes 99 new I.T outlets, mostly in China. The group entered a 50:50 joint venture with high street fashion chain I.T, newly listed on the main board, in 2003 to open shops in China and Taiwan. 'We will focus on spending our time, money and resources in a predictable fast-growing market, which is China.' Mr Yeung said. 'We expect the I.T joint venture will contribute net profit this year or next.' The joint venture recently opened a 20,000 square foot I.T store in Beijing and a similar outlet is slated to open in Shanghai next month. 'We plan to aggressively expand our I.T operations,' Mr Yeung said. 'I.T is headed by local management and we are fast in making decisions.' Glorious Sun would take a more conservative approach with its other retail partner, American casualwear maker Quiksilver. The company has only 10 Quiksilver outlets and expected the business would break even in three to four years. 'Our foreign partner prefers to bear slower returns and take fewer expansion risks,' Mr Yeung said. Glorious Sun yesterday reported a 33.35 per cent jump in net earnings last year to $220.07 million from a year earlier. Turnover increased 8.26 per cent to $3.58 billion, of which 63.56 per cent came from retailing and the rest from exports. The firm saw pricing of its export products fall less than 10 per cent in the first quarter this year after the expiry of international textile quotas.