E-Mart China seeking store sale to exit market

South Korea’s E-Mart China is negotiating the sale of its five stores with Charoen Pokphand Group of Thailand.

E-Mart said on Friday that it plans to pull out of the Chinese market by the end of this year, but would not comment on its talks with Charoen Pokphand Group.

A discount-chain affiliate of Shinsegae Group, E-Mart said early this year that it plans to exit the Chinese market. Its falling sales there come as relations have soured between Seoul and Beijing over the deployment in South Korea of a US missile-defence system.

E-Mart’s sales in China tumbled 38.6 per cent to 27.7 billion won (US$24.5 million) in the second quarter. It posted 5.4 billion won in losses during the April-to-June period following a 5.6 billion won operating loss a year earlier.

August sales rose 3.5 per cent to 1.2 trillion won from a year ago, E-Mart said on Friday. This was on the back of its wholesale brand Traders and online business, which jumped 30.8 and 27.6 per cent respectively.

E-Mart rival Lotte Shopping has also struggled in the Chinese market with authorities suspending business for many outlets.

CP Group runs discount chain CP Lotus in China.

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