China's top one-hundred chain store operators saw sales volume hit 1.66 trillion yuan ($253 billion) in 2010, up 21.2 percent year on year, said a report on Monday.
The 2010 growth rate rose 7.7 percentage points from the previous year, according to a report published by the China Chain Store & Franchise Association (CCFA).
The report showed that Suning Appliance Co, a retail leader in China's 3C (consumer appliances, computers and communication products) market, topped the list of chain store operators for the second consecutive year with sales of 156.2 billion yuan, a sharp increase from 117 billion yuan in 2009.
One third of the top 100 chain store operators sold general merchandise, said the report.
Thirty four of the top 100 retailers launched online businesses in 2010 and their online sales totaled 3 billion yuan, it said.
The CCFA also noted in the report that rising operational costs, including rental and labor costs, posed the greatest difficulty to chain store operators.
Last year, rental costs for the companies increased an average of 30 percent year on year, said the report.