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Big retailers plan no outlet expansions this year

All News 11:16 January 22, 2017

SEOUL, Jan. 22 (Yonhap) -- E-Mart Co., Homeplus Co. and other major South Korean retailers are not planning to open new outlets this year amid a protracted slump in domestic spending and fierce competition, industry sources said Sunday.

E-Mart, the country's No. 1 retailer, which currently operates 147 stores across the nation, has been opening one to five new outlets annually over the past years despite tightened regulations and increased online shopping among consumers.

The country's market size for big retailers was estimated at 10.6 trillion won (US$9.01 billion) in 2000, but has grown sharply since then, reaching 19.2 trillion won in 2003 and topping 30 trillion won in 2008.

But the government had regulated their operations in a bid to foster smaller retailers. Since 2012, the country's big retailers do not open their outlets on the second and fourth Sunday of every month.

Affected by such strict regulations and saturated market conditions, big retailers' market size hovered below the 40 trillion-won level between 2013 and 2015, according to the sources.

Big retailers plan no outlet expansions this year - 1

sam@yna.co.kr
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