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NEW HORIZONS: Lotte Shopping Co. is expanding its international reach. The South Korean retail giant plans to open department stores in Shenyang, China and Hanoi, Vietnam this year. A spokesman said the Shenyang store will open in May and the Hanoi store will open in September or October. The new stores will extend the department store chain to eight international locations, including branches in Beijing, Moscow and Jakarta.
“Our goal is to be a top-five global department store," said Younghoon Ko, Lotte's investor relations manager.
Lotte currently operates 49 large department stores and outlet malls throughout Korea and it is expanding on that front as well. The retailer will open a Lotte department store in Suwon, a half-hour outside Seoul, in August. It will also open four outlet stores this year, the spokesman said, specifying that one of these stores will be in the southeastern port city of Busan and three will be in the Seoul metropolitan area. One of the Seoul locations will be a joint venture with Sweden's Ikea.
The company is also gearing up for the 2016 completion of the 123-story, 1,821-foot-tall Lotte World Tower, which is expected to be Asia’s tallest building. The tower will anchor an existing Lotte Department Store, the Lotte World indoor amusement park, an ice skating rink, a hotel and other retail and commercial space. The upscale Lotte annex AvenueL, a luxury designer shopping complex, will open on the premises this spring.