Lotte to focus on Vietnam expansion

By Anh Tu   August 23, 2022 | 10:40 pm PT
Lotte to focus on Vietnam expansion
Lotte Mart head office in HCMC's District 7. Photo courtesy of Lotte Mart
South Korea’s fifth largest conglomerate Lotte Group is picking up the pace of expansion in Vietnam’s retail and F&B industries as it pulls out of China.

Its chairman, Shin Dong-bin, recently released from jail, is set to visit Vietnam for his first overseas business trip after receiving a presidential pardon on Liberation Day on Aug. 15.

The trip "shows how serious (South) Korea’s fifth-largest business group is about doing business" in its "third-most important market [...] after S. Korea and Japan" as it is near completion of withdrawal from China, The Korea Times said.

A number of Lotte CEOs, including Kim Sang-hyun of Lotte Shopping, Jung Jun-ho of Lotte Department Store and Kang Sung-hyun of Lotte Mart, have visited Vietnam this year to check on their businesses.

The Korea Times quoted a Lotte Shopping official as saying: "We are actively operating in Vietnam and Indonesia currently. The Vietnamese market in particular shows steep growth in the retail business and there is still room to grow. Korea has a good reputation in Vietnam that helps with our business there and people's income levels are rapidly growing too."

Lotte has 270 Lotteria fast-food restaurants and 15 Lotte Mart hypermarkets in Vietnam. Its other subsidiaries are also building shopping complexes and residential apartments in Hanoi and HCMC.

It established Lotte Ventures Vietnam last year, the first foreign venture capital firm to be approved in the country.

Meanwhile, Lotte is planning to sell its last department store in China and pull completely out of the country after 14 years of doing business.

China allegedly retaliated against South Korean firms there after the deployment of the U.S.’s THAAD anti-ballistic missile defense system in 2017.

Shin was sentenced to 30 months in prison in a bribery case involving former president Park Geun-hye, and spent seven months in jail, Reuters reported.

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