Lotte Mulls Massive Bailout for Ailing Supermarket Chain in China

  • By Chae Sung-jin

    August 04, 2017 11:15

    Lotte Mart wants to inject more than W400 billion in emergency funding into its supermarket chain in China, which has been hit hard by an unofficial boycott over the stationing of a Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense battery in Korea (US$1=W1,128).

    Lotte Mart operates 99 supermarkets in China, 87 of which have been shut down since March over various real or imagined health-and-safety violations.

    In the remaining stores sales plunged to just a quarter of usual levels. Losses are expected to swell after the Korean government decided recently to complete the deployment.

    "Our stores in China are barely making any money, but we still need to spend more than W90 billion a month to cover wages and rent, while losses so far have amounted to around W500 billion," a Lotte Mart staffer said. "If this situation continues until the end of the year, losses are expected to rise to around W1 trillion."

    The Lotte Group's duty-free shops and hotels in Korea are also suffering from dwindling numbers of Chinese tourists, bringing total losses to an estimated W2 trillion in losses.

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