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Lotte Mart to open 60 outlets in Vietnam by 2020: executive

Lotte Mart seems poised to meet a goal of 60 stores in Vietnam by 2020, with the grand opening of the 12th outlet slated for next week, the Vietnamese division of the South Korean retail giant said on Thursday.

An artist's impression of the Lotte Mart Go Vap is seen in this photo provided by Lotte Mart Vietnam.

The latest outlet, located in Go Vap District, Ho Chi Minh City, will open to shoppers on April 28, Hong Won Sik, general director of Lotte Mart Vietnam, told reporters in the southern metropolis.

The US$45 million Lotte Mart Go Vap is built under a much different model from the company’s other 11 outlets in Vietnam. The building's three stories feature an entertainment area, a supermarket, and a cinema on each floor.

With only a dozen Lotte Mart supermarkets launched in Vietnam during the past eight years, Hong said his company will have to increase the speed of opening new stores to meet its 60-outlet target.

The general director added that Lotte Mart will also boost its merger and acquisition activities and take part in several investment deals in Vietnam to hit the target.

More than 90 percent of the goods sold at Lotte Mart Vietnam outlets are domestically sourced, a number that will continue to rise, according to the retail giant.

The Vietnamese sourced merchandise will include those items produced by South Korean and other multinational companies that are operating in Vietnam, Hong said.

Lotte Mart Vietnam is also running projects to introduce Vietnamese goods to consumers back in South Korea.

Hong spoke highly of Vietnam’s pork, coffee, dried fruits, and wooden and ceramic products, which will be promoted to South Korean consumers.

Last year Lotte Mart Vietnam exported over $5 million worth of Vietnamese products to South Korea, the company said in a press release.

In 2016 the retailer will introduce Vietnamese-made merchandise at more than 100 outlets in South Korea, hoping to increase the export turnover between five and ten times from last year.

Lotte Mart established its inaugural Vietnam store in District 7, Ho Chi Minh City in 2008. After eight years, the South Korean retailer has pumped nearly $650 million to build 12 outlets in the country’s big cities.

Lotte Mart Vietnam also announced in a separate press release on Thursday that its South Korean parent company will add $2.2 billion to an existing investment in Ho Chi Minh City.
Lotte Group has received government approval for the additional capital in the Thu Thiem New Urban Area, where it has so far invested $45 million.

The Thu Thiem New Urban Area is located along the Saigon River in District 2, which lies to the east of the city, and connects to District 1, District 7, District 9, and Binh Thanh District.

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