Goyang finds middle path with retailers

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Goyang finds middle path with retailers

Goyang City Government in Gyeonggi will restrict the operating hours of super supermarkets and large discount chain stores from next month by designating certain dates on which they must close, it said yesterday. The move is aimed at supporting smaller merchants.

This is different from a controversial rule imposed earlier across the nation this year mandating the large stores close on the second and fourth Sunday of each month. Many subsequently shirked the ban by filing lawsuits against local authorities.

The local government in Goyang has been regulating the operating hours of the stores since June. It has also limited the number of new big retail outlets that can receive business licenses by declaring certain areas off-limits in the city.

However, as the large retailers objected by filing lawsuits to local district courts, the city government held a three-way conference with them and merchants at traditional markets to resolve the issue.

As a result of the meeting, the city government will limit the sales of large discount chain stores by determining as yet-undisclosed dates each month.

The government will hold another trilateral summit to fix the dates soon so the rule can be applied next month, it said.

By Kim Jung-yoon [kjy@joongang.co.kr]

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