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Lotte Shopping to sell assets to shore up profit, focus now on online biz

All News 16:02 February 13, 2020

By Choi Kyong-ae

SEOUL, Feb. 13 (Yonhap) -- Lotte Shopping Co., the operator of South Korea's biggest department store and second-biggest discount store chain, said Thursday it will sell 30 percent of its 700 outlets as it strives to improve profitability and meet customer demands.

Lotte Shopping plans to sell off 200 of its 700 brick-and-mortar stores, including department stores, discount stores and supermarkets, across the country to shore up its falling profit and strengthen the e-commerce business, the company said in a statement.

This photo taken Feb. 10, 2020, shows the main entrance of the Lotte Department Store in Myeongdong, central Seoul, which resumed operations following a three-day shutdown after the 23rd confirmed coronavirus patient turned out to have visited the store on Feb. 2. (Yonhap)

The company didn't provide any fixed time frame for the asset sale plans.

"We will resolve fundamental problems and make a tangible result as soon as possible (through the restructuring efforts). And we will make all-out efforts to make the company one that's welcomed by customers, employees and shareholders in the long term," Lotte Shopping Vice Chairman and CEO Kang Hee-tae said in the statement.

To satisfy a changing appetite of customers, Lotte Shopping said it will provide "customized services to individual customers" by integrating strengths of its offline business and e-commerce business based on data of its 39 million customers.

Meanwhile, Lotte Shopping posted poor earnings results for 2019 due mainly to a sales decline in discount store outlets.

Full-year net losses deepened to 853.56 billion won last year from 464.99 billion won a year earlier. Operating profit fell 28 percent to 427.91 billion won from 597 billion won during the same period, while sales fell 1.1 percent to 17.63 trillion won from 17.82 trillion won.


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