SEOUL, Feb. 23 (Korea Bizwire) – Lotte Department Store has announced plans to hire hundreds of local workers at a new shopping complex that will open in Gunsan in April, after residents were hit hard by the news that city’s GM Korea plant would be shutting down.
Up to 70 percent of the job openings at Lotte’s new shopping mall will be filled with local staff, which is double the average share of local staff at retail stores in the country.
The new Lotte Mall should help heal the local economy in Gunsan, just weeks after GM Korea’s shocking decision to pull out of the region, leaving tens of thousands of people unemployed.
Lotte Mall is the first large-scale shopping complex to open in the city. The six-story building boasts a floor area of 93,200 square meters, accommodating outlets, a movie theater with seven screens and a large Youngpoong Bookstore.
With the mall scheduled to open in late April, a job fair organized by the local branch of the labor ministry will be held early March.
Employers from up to 100 brands including Uniqlo, ABC Mart and Youngpoong Bookstore are expected to participate, as part of the joint effort to build closer ties with the community.
“We expect the opening of the Gunsan branch of Lotte Mall will help boost the local economy and create jobs after the severe blow of GM Korea’s plant closure. We plan to do our best to progress and create a culture of coexistence with the local community,” a Lotte Department Store official said.
Following reports of GM Korea’s plant shutdown, Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon is set to visit the manufacturing plant in Gunsan this weekend to meet officials and representatives of business partners to discuss the fate of the factory.
North Jeolla Province Governor Song Ha-jin has reportedly asked the prime minister to persuade GM Korea to reconsider its decision to shut down the manufacturing plant in Gunsan.
According to a survey conducted by pollster Realmeter, over half of the public believe the government should intervene to provide assistance to GM Korea, provided the carmaker proposes a reasonable management normalization plan.
Ashley Song (firstname.lastname@example.org)