Galleria and Lotte Setting Up in TaejonLotte Department Store and Galleria Department Store are set to engage in battle in Taejon. Galleria's Taejon branch called 'Time World,' opened in Dunsan 2-dong on February 25. Lotte will soon follow suit by opening their own store in Taejon this March.
The rival stores will be only 1.5 km apart and the competition resulting from being in such close proximity is expected to be fierce.
The Galleria (38,280 m.sq) is larger than Lotte's planned site (31,350 m.sq), but both will have annual sales targets of 300 billion won (about $26 million).
Galleria's 'Time World' branch, the former Dongyang Department Store building acquired and renovated last year, has concentrated on building an up-scale image by offering brands such as French cosmetics company Lancome and Italian fashion house Missoni.
Also, Galleria, a subsidiary of the Hanwha Group, insists on what they call their "grassroots" origins. "Since Hanhwa's professional baseball team calls Taejon home, the people of Taejon consider Hanhwa 'their company'. They are also interested in the Galleria Stores. So, achieving our expected sales targets will not be difficult," said a Galleria representative.
Lotte is determined to win and prides itself on being the first in their business. Because of its extensive experience in the purchasing of goods and service excellence for its customers, Lotte expects it will easily become the Department Store of choice in the central core area.
Lotte is continuing to work towards its 'green business' goals. They have donated goods valued at about 20 million won ($17,000) to six welfare organizations in Taejon.
They also plan to donate scholarships totalling 72 million won ($63,000) to children of taxi drivers, 180 children in all,on March 20.
It will be interesting to see what other things are up the sleeves of these two department stores. Customers can only watch and enjoy the fallout to see who can do the most for the people of Taejon.
In addition to the two Seoul-based giants, local department stores like Say and Mallio will have their work cut out for them on the fierce commercial battleground taking shape in Taejon.
by Cha Jin-yong