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E-Mart plans to sell stores to reduce debt

South Korean big-box retailer E-mart will sell 13 store buildings and land to improve its financial situation.

The firm will sell the properties to Mastern Investment Management for KRW952.48 billion (US$802.65 million) in the face of plummeting sales and intensifying competition from e-commerce. It will continue to operate its businesses on the properties under a lease arrangement.

The properties constitute 5.7 per cent of the Shinsegae-owned firm’s total assets. 

E-mart will use the funding to pay debt and diversify its operations into e-commerce.

“As the current retail market is dominated by e-commerce platforms, retailers have no choice but to continue to reduce their offline business,” said Hyundai Motor Securities analyst Park Jong-ryul. “With fresh fund, they focus on venturing into the online market.”

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