SK Lotte Group suffers from sluggish retail business in China

March 2, 2017

SHANGHAI - South Korea's Lotte Group has suffered from sluggish growth in its retail business in China, with analysts saying revenue of its hypermarkets sector slipped 2% to 2,516 billion South Korean Won (US$2.2 billion) because of its mediocre performance in China.

According to its annual report, the group saw same-store sale growth in China decline by 14% in 2016 while its overall global sales growth slowed by 3.8% despite growth in Indonesia and Vietnam. Lotte Group has plans to close three retail stores in China in 2017 due to declining performance in 2016, the South Korean conglomerate said earlier.

The China Daily quoted Jason Yu, general manager of market research firm Kantar Worldpanel China, as saying: "Merely a regional player, Lotte hardly could compete with international or domestic retail giants in terms of scale.

Lotte, which has less than 1% of market share, has limited advantages in terms of merchandise, prices and shopping experience. It will also be under pressure from e-commerce where many South Korean brands can be bought online." (ATI).