SEOUL, Dec. 8 (Korea Bizwire) — Shinsegae Group vice chairman Chung Yong-jin’s business acumen is making headlines, with the success of the Starfield shopping complexes and the decision to cut employee working hours down to 35 per week from next year.
The plan to slash working hours to help improve employee work-life balance was announced by the retail giant on Friday, making Shinsegae the first conglomerate in the country to adopt a 35 hour work week policy.
The groundbreaking policy is the latest in a series of bold business moves by Shinsegae under Chung, who garnered praise from animal lovers in the country for having opened the pet-friendly shopping mall Starfield Goyang earlier this year.
The mall is one of Chung’s biggest accomplishments to date, a 1 trillion won ‘shopping theme park’ project that was devised to compete with baseball stadiums and other entertainment venues instead of traditional retailers.
The rather unique and animal-friendly businessman, who is known for actively engaging in conversation with customers on social media networks, has said the shopping theme parks which he named himself would offer the same experience as watching a movie.
Starfield Hanam, which opened in 2016, is one of the largest shopping malls in the country, 70 times bigger than a regular football stadium.
Following in its success is Starfield Goyang, which has a wide selection of shops of its own including Toy Kingdom and Baby Circle.
“Shinsegae Group is going beyond the realm of distribution and branching out as a content provider with its own concept stores and brands,” an industry source said in describing Shinsegae’s growth under Chung’s leadership.
Despite the newly introduced working hour cuts, Shinsegae says it will continue its annual wage hike.
“As the change would bring huge benefits to our employees, we expect them to concentrate more on their work and voluntarily take part in establishing a working environment that would improve overall productivity,” Shinsegae said in a statement.
Recently, Chung also made a foray into the convenience store market with E-Mart 24, which has become one of the top five convenience store chains in the country.
Hyunsu Yim (firstname.lastname@example.org)