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Foxconn to shift China retail focus online after Metro ends joint venture

Workers walk out of the entrance to a Foxconn factory in Chengdu, Sichuan province July 4, 2012. REUTERS/Stringer
Workers walk out of the entrance to a Foxconn factory in Chengdu, Sichuan province July 4, 2012. REUTERS/Stringer

TAIPEI (Reuters) - Foxconn Technology Group said it will shift its China retailing focus to online sales after a joint venture with German retailer Metro AG failed to gain traction in stiff competition among large consumer electronics stores.

Foxconn will use a network of nearly 1,000 electronics shops that it runs separately in China to support its online store, Foxconn spokeswoman Laura Liu said.

"We have seen sales in our physical retail stores dropping so we're putting more focus on our online business," Liu said. She added that the company would continue to open new small stores.

Foxconn, a holding company that includes Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd, said in a statement on Friday that the joint venture with Metro, Media Markt China, would wind up its seven stores next month.

Metro, which holds a majority stake in the venture, said in January that it would be scrapped after meeting unexpectedly strong competition.

International retailers such as Best Buy Co Inc, Kingfisher Plc and Home Depot Inc have struggled in the world's second-largest economy after underestimating local and online rivals.

Foxconn, a major supplier to tech companies such as Apple Inc, Hewlett Packard and Dell Inc, opened an online electronics store called "eFeiHu" in 2010.

(Reporting by Clare Jim; Editing by Edmund Klamann)

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