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Lotte sees brand value rise despite THAAD row

All Headlines 10:53 April 02, 2017

SEOUL, April 2 (Yonhap) -- South Korean retail giant Lotte Group saw its brand value rise in the first quarter of this year despite China's retaliation against the conglomerate over a controversial missile defense system, a poll showed Sunday.

Brandstock, a South Korean market research firm that determines the rankings of local brands, said in its latest survey that most Lotte units saw their brand rankings improve in the January-March period from three months earlier.

Lotte World Adventure and Lotte Department Store ranked seventh and ninth, respectively, up one notch from the end of last year.

Lotte Mart, which has become the lightning rod for China's retaliation, remained unchanged at 21st, with Lotte Super soaring six notches to 77th.

Lotte Mart, the operator of the group's hypermarket chain that has a massive network in China, has been teetering on the brink of collapse as a protracted business suspension by Chinese authorities is leaving the firm with snowballing losses.

This file photo shows Chinese consumers holding a rally to urge a boycott of Lotte products in front of a Lotte Department Store outlet in the Chinese city of Shenyang on March 3, 2017. (Yonhap)

China has ratcheted up pressure against Lotte, South Korea's fifth-largest family-controlled firm, since it handed over a golf course as the site for a U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery. Beijing has also banned group tours to South Korea.

Other Lotte brands also made big jumps on the list, but its duty-free units, suffered and dropped out of the top 100 as nearly 80 percent of their sales depend on Chinese tourists.

"Despite China's retaliation over the THAAD issue, Lotte basked in improvements thanks to its concerted efforts to burnish its brand value," Brandstock said.

According to Brandstock, Samsung Electronics Co.'s mobile brand Galaxy retained its top spot in the first quarter despite the discontinuation of the latest Galaxy Note 7 phablet line due to a battery problem.

Hyundai Motor Co.'s luxury brand Genesis ranked first among local cars, while Hyundai's full-size sedan Grandeur tumbled 40 spots to 87, with its Sonata midsize sedan failing to make the top 100 list.
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