* CEO says to speed expansion from 80 new stores in 2012
* 30,000 new jobs in next 3 yrs at Brazil's biggest employer
SAO PAULO Jan 10 Grupo Pão de Açúcar
, Brazil's biggest diversified retailer, said on Thursday
it plans to open 500 new stores by 2015, accelerating growth in
a bet that household consumption will continue to drive the
"We have a very aggressive expansion plan," Chief Executive
Enéas Pestana said in a company newsletter on Thursday. He
reiterated that the group would accelerate openings of its
wholesale Assai stores and Minimercado Extra format.
Pão de Açúcar opened about 80 new stores last year, Pestana
said. The group closed 25 stores through September of last year.
Executives said last month that they planned 100 new stores
this year in the smaller Minimercado Extra alone, as the company
focused on its supermarket business amid disappointing results
from its recently integrated appliance units.
Pestana said in Thursday's newsletter that the group's
expansion would create about 30,000 jobs over the next three
years, growing the company's workforce from about 160,000
Pão de Açúcar is Brazil's biggest private-sector employer.