Lotte Group plans US$2.8 billion e-commerce spend

Korea’s Lotte Group plans to invest KRW3 trillion (US$2.8 billion) into its e-commerce business.

Lotte Shopping CEO Kang Hee-tae says a comprehensive online shopping platform will integrate all eight of its online stores by 2020. Lotte Group will form a business department in August dedicated to developing its e-commerce business. Its various retail businesses, including its discount chain Lotte Mart and electronics outlet Hi-Mart, each run separate online shopping platforms.

“Lotte plans to dedicate KRW500 billion to developing the online and mobile service platform,” says Kang. “It will invest KRW1 trillion in systematising distribution and logistics and KRW1.5 trillion for marketing.”

Lotte Shopping and Lotte Group will each invest KRW1.5 trillion in the project.

Meanwhile, Lotte Shopping, which runs Lotte Mart, Lotte Department Store and Lotte Cinema, has already announced it will merge with Lotte.com, the retail giant’s first online shopping platform, which sells goods from the department store.

Lotte.com, which was the first e-commerce site from a Korean conglomerate when it launched in 2000, has fallen behind industry rival Shinsegae’s SSG.com, which offers products from its discount chain Emart and Shinsegae Department Store, reports Korea JoongAng Daily.

Lotte’s plan follows a January announcement by Shinsegae that it would invest more than KRW1 trillion in a company to oversee Shinsegae’s entire e-commerce business.

Lotte is banking on its large number of registered customers and offline stores to strengthen its e-commerce business. It has 11,000 retail outlets in Korea, and also has data on more than 38 million registered customers across its online and offline stores.

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