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Shinsegae to rev up online, overseas expansion

Starfield shopping mall plans to open goyang - Retail in Asia

Chung Yong-jin, the vice chairman of South Korean retail giant Shinsegae, said the conglomerate is reviewing various options to improve its online and overseas businesses, while beefing up its offline business as well.

When asked about market rumors that Shinsegae is considering the acquisition of SK Planet Co.’s loss-making e-commerce platform 11st, Chung said it was “one of the scenarios reviewed.”

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“We are still looking into various options in addition to that,” Chung told reporters, adding there will be a surprise announcement within this year regarding its online business. He declined to elaborate further.

Regarding the latest comment, SK Planet said it is mulling over various ways to seek growth but selling 11st is not on the table.

Market watchers say Shinsegae could announce the acquisition of another shopping site or a separate investment plan for its own online shopping channel.

Chung also said the retailer is in talks with Southeast Asian countries, including Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, to expand its business overseas after it withdrew from the Chinese market.

Starfield Goyang is a four-story building with two underground floors covering an area spanning 364,000 square meters. It is equipped with more than 560 brand shops, along with over 100 restaurants, as well as the group’s warehouse-style supermarket E-Mart Traders and other places for leisure activities.

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Shinsegae expects the new shopping complex to rack up 650 billion won (US$577 million) in sales in the first year.

“From hardware to software, we prepared Starfield Goyang to provide a better service to our customers in all aspects,” said Chung, the de facto head of the business group. “We will put our efforts toward making sure Starfield Goyang contributes to the development of the regional community and achieves mutual growth.”