Shinsegae chief calls for ‘smarter’ steps forward

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Shinsegae chief calls for ‘smarter’ steps forward

Honorary Chairman Chung Jae-eun presented his vision for the year ahead as building Shinsegae Group as a “smart” entity while meeting with employees yesterday.

He said the group must be reborn as one focused on simultaneously creating profit and social value, helping communities rather than just obsessing about share prices and bottom lines.

Chung is married to Shinsegae Group Chairwoman Lee Myung-hee and is the father of Chung Yong-jin, the group’s vice chairman.

In previous years he has called on employees to chase reform in a variety of ways, such as by embracing environmentally friendly practices and technologies, improving product quality and finding ways to lower prices.

He said efforts now need to be concentrated on resolving raging controversies including unfair trade practices, feeding too much business to affiliates, and mounting public resentment based on the belief that Big Business is overstepping on the turf of mom-and-pop stores.

“Big companies are carrying out activities that contribute to society, but they should understand the exact kind of corporate social responsibility that society demands,” he said.

He said the group should improve a number of areas of governance including labor issues, environmental concerns and fair business practices, while making more efforts to help consumers and local communities.

He said “friendly” investment activities should be offered to local communities such as supporting infrastructure projects and passing down E-Mart’s know-how to small supermarkets.

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