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Biggest Korean retail group--E-mart withdraws from China

E-Mart, the Korean supermarket chain owned by their biggest retail group Shinsegae Mall, entered China 20 years ago.  But this year it will leave China by transferring its stores to other companies. A report from the Daily Economics in Korea says E-Mart has sold 5 of its stores in Shanghai to the Chia Tai Group  (Charoen Pokphand Group) from Thailand. Sources revealed that a contract has been signed by the two companies. E-Mart will sell the last store to another buyer and leave altogether China before 2018.

When E-Mart came to China in 1997, they chose Shanghai Joy Buy and Tianjin Teda as business partners, so their stores are located in Tianjin and East China. Due to a consistent financial loss, Shanghai Joy Buy sold all their shares and retreated from E-Mart in November, 2014. Experts pointed out that E-Mart failed to localize in this new market, invested too much in opening new stores and had a high HR cost because it hired mainly Korean employees in China.

A similar situation also happened to other Korean supermarket chains in China. Reuters said that, in early September, Lotte Shopping were considering selling their supermarkets in China. The Lotte group once told the press that they had suffered a loss of 500 billion South Korean Wons since the group signed the THAAD. They expected that amount to reach 1,000 billion if the stores stayed closed till the end of 2017. Even before THAAD, Korean supermarkets like E-Mart and Lotte Shopping were not doing as well as Carrefour or Walmart.

Source: tfresh

Publication date: 9/15/2017


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