SEOUL, Nov. 19 (Korea Bizwire) – The nation’s top court on Thursday ruled in favor of municipalities restricting operating hours of giant retailers.
The Supreme Court returned to a lower court for reconsideration of a ruling that was in favor of the six plaintiffs, including E-Mart, Homeplus and Lotte Mart, seeking nullification of district offices’ order to cut their operating hours.
It said the regulation is legitimate and is necessary to protect public interests.
Under the regulation, big-box discount chains including so-called super supermarkets operated by giant retailers should close their shops twice a month on Sundays, and limit their operation from midnight till 8 a.m. every day.
The rule is an effort to protect mom-and-pop shops and revitalize traditional market places so as to promote joint economic growth.
“Compared to the public interest the regulation is trying to achieve here, which is not only significant but also in need of protection, the right of business or consumer choice is hardly infringed upon,” said Chief Justice Yang Seung-tae.