Korean Retailers Expand Overseas

The Lotte discount outlet in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, is bustling with an increasing number of local customers. In addition to its "everyday low price" items, the store is being praised for accommodating customers with a large parking lot for motorcycles, the primary means of transport there. It is the 28th overseas retail chain set up by Lotte Shopping, the flagship of Lotte Group, following a number of establishments in China and Indonesia.

The conglomerate says it will continue to target overseas markets, and expand the operations of its supermarkets and shopping malls. It runs two shopping centers in both China and Russia.

Given that the Korean retail market is saturated, totaling some 300 large discount outlets, the group added that it will target some 30 cities in China with populations of about 5 million in the long-term.

Also, Shinsegae Group, which operates Korea's biggest discount chain E-Mart, says it will zero in on China by opening at least 10 new stores this year, compared with eight in Korea. Shinsegae made inroads to China in 1997. It aims to boost the total number of its outlets in China to 70 by 2012, from 18 as of January.

Meanwhile, Korea's home shopping networks are joining the global race for expansion as well. CJ Home Shopping, one of the country's biggest TV shopping operators, says it will set up retail businesses in Southeast Asian countries by the year's end. It already runs home shopping networks in China.

Arirang News / Jan. 14, 2009 12:51 KST