SEOUL, Oct. 21 (Korea Bizwire) — E-mart Inc., South Korea’s largest hypermarket chain, said Monday that it has named Kang Heui-seok, a partner at Bain & Company, as its new chief executive as the company grapples with declining sales.
Kang, a key member of Bain’s retail and consumer products, will head E-Mart in the wake of the company’s first-ever operating loss for the second quarter of this year.
E-Mart reported a net loss of 26.6 billion won (US$22.7 million) on a consolidated basis in the April-June period, compared with a net profit of 94.8 billion won a year earlier, amid growing competition from online shopping rivals and e-commerce giants.
The retailer posted an operating loss of 29.9 billion won for the second quarter.
It was the first time that E-Mart had recorded an operating loss since it was spun off from retail giant Shinsegae Group in 2011.
A graduate of Seoul National University with a bachelor’s degree in law, Kang earned his MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Since joining Bain in 2005, he has served clients in a number of industries including retail and consumer products.