Shinsegae Group says it will invest 4.1 trillion won ($3.4 billion) this year and hire 14,400 new staff to expand its retail business and revitalise the “sagging domestic economy”.
“The overall retail sector has been struggling to deal with continued sluggish domestic consumption,” a Shinsegae Group official said. “But we decided to invest more and hire more workers to find new growth engines and help inject vigor into the stagnant domestic market.”
Shinsegae, Korea’s largest retail group, will open 10 shopping centres across the country in 2016, including the massive Hanam Union Square southeast of Seoul, built on a 117,000 sqm site and employing 5000 staff. That project is worth 1 trillion won alone, (US$832 million).
The company’s discount arm E-Mart, is building a logistics centre in Gimpo, in the Gyeonggi province, to support an expanded online business as it ramps up competition with rivals including Coupang. It also plans to increase the size of many of its existing stores as well as opening new shops in Vietnam and other Southeast asian markets.
Three new Shinsegae department stores will open their doors – in Hanam, Gimhae (in South Gyeongsang Province) and in Daegu. Stores in southern Seoul and downtown Busan will be expanded.
And the company’s Shinsegae Duty Free operation is putting the finishing touches on an upmarket duty free store inside its downtown Seoul department store. That shop is scheduled to open in May.
“Business conditions at home and abroad have largely been unfavorable for us,” said Shinsegae Group vice chairman Chung Yong-jin.
“We expect to bear fruits this year from our investments in multipurpose shopping centers, duty free shops and department stores. We will continue to invest and hire workers as a leading retailer to help bolster the domestic economy,” he said.