Aeon to shut 100 women's clothes shops in '09 - Nikkei

April 29 (Reuters) - Japan's second-largest retailer Aeon Co Ltd (8267.T) will shut 100 casual women's clothing shops in fiscal 2009, the Nikkei business daily said.

Additionally, Blue Grass Co (7478.Q) and Cox Co (9876.Q) have also announced plans to close stores and cut back store expansion plans for 2009, it said.

Many Japanese retailers have been struck by low customer spending on clothing and non-daily essentials while the economy crawls through its deepest recession in decades.

On April 14, Aeon reported its first annual net loss in seven years, and had warned of tougher times ahead.

Casual apparel store unit Cox Co said will close around 10 percent of its stores and slash new store openings by 80 percent to just six, while Blue Grass plans to close 100 stores this fiscal year, twice as many as in fiscal 2008.

For 2009, Blue Grass plans to open only 19 new stores -- 30 percent fewer than the earlier year, the Nikkei business daily said. (Reporting by Nivedita Bhattacharjee in Bangalore; Editing by Jarshad Kakkrakandy)

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