Companies trying out new overseas markets

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Companies trying out new overseas markets

Local retail companies are heading to overseas markets beyond Japan and China amid a slowing economy at home, trying more exotic destinations like Myanmar and Turkey.

Fast food chain Lotteria is tapping into the Myanmar market, the first such move by a global food brand in the Southeast Asian country previously known as Burma.

And Korean home shopping mall GS Shop is launching a 24-hour home shopping TV channel in Turkey next month.

E-Land Group’s SPA brand Mixxo also opened its first store in China yesterday.

Lotteria said yesterday it opened its first store in Myanmar’s biggest shopping mall, Junction Square in Yangon, last Saturday as a part of Lotte Group’s goal to expand into the Burmese market.

“We are the first global food company to open a store in Myanmar,” said a spokesman for Lotteria. “It will secure a bridgehead for Lotte Group to enter the Myanmar market.”

Myanmar has attracted the attention of foreign investors since its government started reforms last year.

Shin Dong-bin, the Lotte Group chairman, visited the country last February and Lotteria later signed an MOU with the local food company MYKO last August.

“Lotteria has had successful overseas business performances in countries such as Vietnam and Indonesia with its abundant know-how in the restaurant business,” said Noh Il-sik, CEO of Lotteria at the opening ceremony.

“Through localization based on such know-how and experience, Lotteria will stably expand the business in Burma as well,” Noh said.

The fast food chain is already operating a total of 175 stores overseas including 141 stores in Vietnam, 19 in Indonesia and 14 in China.

It plans to open 30 more stores in Myanmar by 2016, including three stand-alone shops in downtown Yangon, six outlets in shopping malls and one drive-thru store, Lotteria said.

GS Shop, local home shopping retailer of the GS Group, said yesterday it will launch a TV shopping channel in Turkey next month, also the first such move by a local retailer.

GS Shop said it has joined hands with leading Turkish logistics company MNG Group to open the 24-hour home shopping channel MNG SHOP.

It is the sixth overseas expansion by the retailer following India, Thailand, Vietnam, China and Indonesia.

“In the wake of the expansion into Turkey, GS Shop aims to become the world’s largest home shopping company by broadening its markets to Europe and the Middle East,” said a company spokesman.

Meanwhile, Korean fashion retailer E-Land Group, which has seen sharp growth in China with more than 20 brands in women’s clothing, menswear, children’s wear and underwear, has opened the first store of its SPA brand Mixxo in China. It also opened the first Mixxo store in Sendai, Japan, last month.

According to the retailer, it successfully launched Mixxo in Shanghai last Saturday, signaling the start of competition with global fast fashion brands such as Zara and H&M.

E-Land said it plans to open 250 stores in three countries within the next three years. It added that it will aim for 10 trillion won ($9 billion) of sales in the global market by year 2020.

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

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