This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

Chinese Retailer Poised for Expansion

Stocks in this article: QKLS

I just returned from China were I visited one of my portfolio investments, QKL Stores (QKLS - Get Report), a thriving grocery store chain.

It had been two years since I first visited QKL's headquarters in Daqing, a city in northern China near the Mongolian border. At that time, QKL was operating 19 stores and had at a run rate of $7 million in sales a month.

The company founder and CEO, Zhuangyi Wang (or Johnny as he is called in English) had impressed me beyond belief. You want to meet a CEO that lives and breathes every crack and crevice of his business. Well, "here's Johnny!" When describing him to others, the simple term I like to use is he is a "killer," a take-no prisoner CEO -- the kind of man that you know would have made a hell of a field general if he wasn't running a grocery business.

What a difference two years can make. What I found this trip back to visit QKL Stores was a totally different company. QKL is no longer the small boutique grocer with a hand full of stores. The company has evolved and is now operating almost 40 stores, having transformed itself from an autonomous group of stores under the QKL umbrella to a true western style chain of supermarkets, hypermarkets and department stores.

This transformation can be linked to one man, Alan Stewart, the company's new chief operating officer. Tall, well dressed, with his grey hair slicked back, Stewart is easy to spot at QKL's headquarters.

At 67, he moves with the energy of someone 20 years his junior. His resume is legendary, most notably as president of American Stores when it had 175,000 employees and $22 billion in sales. He has also run various international chains, including a period in the mid 1990s when he worked directly for HRH Prince Alwaled, helping him expand his Riyadh-based grocer Al Azizza-Panda United into the largest retail supermarket chain in the Middle East.

I sat in on a presentation he gave to some visitors and there is no question that he knows every aspect of the business. He should; he's been doing this for over 40 years.

1 of 3

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

Jim Cramer's protégé, David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Dividend Stock Advisor

Jim Cramer's protégé, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 17,387.21 -291.49 -1.65%
S&P 500 2,029.55 -27.54 -1.34%
NASDAQ 4,681.4970 -90.2660 -1.89%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs