SEOUL, Jan. 10 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korea’s large discount store chains are shifting strategy from shutting down underperforming outlets towards ramping up their competitiveness through renovations.
Lotte Mart, the hypermarket chain operated by retail giant Lotte, is planning to renovate about 20 to 30 outlets this year, according to industry sources.
For the renovated outlets, category-killer stores such as wine, pets, living and H&B (health and beauty) depending on the commercial characteristics of their districts will be installed.
For some outlets, ‘smart store’ functions will be added through the installation of conveyor systems within the outlets aimed at ensuring quick delivery of goods ordered online.
Another discount store chain Homeplus is working on renovating 17 outlets this year after zero last year.
The company is placing the focus of the renovations on strengthening fresh food offerings. Compared to existing outlets that have a food to non-food ratio of 50:50, the renovated outlets will have a 60:40 ratio.
In addition, Homeplus plans to increase the number of ‘Seven Order’ outlets for which the cut-off time for accepting orders for same-day delivery service will be extended to 7 p.m. and the closing time for delivery will be extended to midnight, from the current two to 22 by the first half of this year.
E-Mart Inc., a discount store chain under Shinsegae Group, will continue its renewal initiative this year after pushing to renovate up to 30 percent of its existing outlets starting from 2020.
The basic direction in the renovation of existing outlets is to strengthen the grocery business as well as to establish picking and packing centers for online orders and delivery through Shinsegae’s online mall SSG.com.
“Offline retailers are going for the innovation of space and these efforts lead to the renovation of existing outlets.” an industry official said.
Ashley Song (email@example.com)