Big stores win fight for right to trade on Sundays

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Big stores win fight for right to trade on Sundays

Eight in 10 major discount chains across the country are expected to resume their businesses on recently imposed mandatory holidays as a series of local courts threw out the national government’s ordinance enforcing them to take two Sundays off a month, according to industry sources yesterday.

Local courts upheld injunctions yesterday that were sought by large retailers, including E-Mart and Lotte Mart, to suspend the execution of the ordinance mandating regular shutdowns at the behest of the government, which enforced the move to aid smaller shops.

The ordinance restricted operating hours and designated mandatory holidays twice a month, but the policy appeared stillborn after local courts accepted large retailers’ arguments against it.

Accordingly, large discount stores and super supermarkets in 22 regions, including Seoul’s Gangnam, Gwangjin, Dongjak, Seocho, Yangcheon and Yeongdeungpo districts; all 13 wards of Busan; and Naju, Gwangyang and Suncheon in South Jeolla, can resume operations throughout the month.

Among large discount stores, 34 E-Marts, 16 Homeplus outlets and nine Lotte Marts in the aforementioned districts are exempt from the restriction and will resume operating from this Sunday.

For E-Mart, 115 of its 146 stores, or 79 percent of the total, will be open for business on the days previously designated as mandatory holidays. The same is true for 114 Homeplus stores, making up 87 percent of its 130 outlets nationwide, and 80 Lotte Marts, or 85 percent of the retailer’s 94 stores.

By Kim Jung-yoon []

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