With multi-shop, Lotte aids SMEs

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With multi-shop, Lotte aids SMEs


Lotte Department Store CEO Lee Won-joon, second from right, tours a special zone dedicated to displaying the products of smaller businesses at the department store’s ninth floor in Sogong-dong, central Seoul, yesterday. [NEWSIS]

As part of efforts to provide a stable supply channel to small and midsize retailers, Lotte Department Store yesterday opened a special zone on the ninth floor of its main branch in Sogong-dong, central Seoul, where smaller businesses will be given space to sell their products.

According to Lotte Department Store, the 66-square-meter (710.5-square-foot) multi-shop called Dream Plaza is an area where the products of about 10 different brands owned by small businesses are sold, including Privia (cosmetics), Lubunny (fashion bags) and Design Chosun (craft items).

“Much of the cost needed to operate Dream Plaza will be covered by us,” said an official from Lotte Department Store. “This includes interior expenses and the cost to hire salespeople.”

The retailer noted that it will invite competitive brands every one to two months to sell items at Dream Plaza. In September, it will also open a plaza inside its Jamsil branch in Songpa District, southern Seoul, and in its main branch in Busan in November.

The opening of the multi-shop is part of Lotte’s agreement with the Korea Federation of SMEs. The two parties signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) yesterday, with Lotte pledging a wide range of training services for small industry players.

The MoU also stipulates that Lotte Department Store should provide support to SMEs to help them enter overseas markets. For example, for a month starting Aug. 22, Lotte will invite about 20 brands recommended by the Korea Federation of SMEs to participate in a Korea product event that will take place inside Lotte’s Weihai store in the eastern Shandong Province of China.

“We will set up booths for these brands where Chinese buyers can consult them [for further purchasing orders],” the official said. “This will give small retailers more opportunity to expand their sales channels in China.”

All of the expenses needed for the event, such as distribution costs for items, will be covered by Lotte. In addition, Lotte Department Store plans to help nurture talented employees by selecting five workers from businesses that are members of the Korea Federation of SMEs every semester to cover their MBA tuition fees.

“We will put out efforts to become an industry leader in establishing a healthy retail environment and creating shared growth with SMEs,” said Lee Won-joon, chief executive of Lotte Department Store.

BY lee eun-joo [angie@joongang.co.kr]

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