Lotte World Mall open by tomorrow
Lotte Group said yesterday it is opening the mall connected to Lotte World Tower in Jamsil, southern Seoul, for three days ending tomorrow after several delays by the Seoul city government over safety and traffic concerns.
Lotte World Mall, measuring 428,934 square meters (106 acres), consists of the 123-story tower that is still under construction and three smaller buildings that will function as a retail and entertainment complex.
A total of 965 brands will be sold, 50 of them for the first time in Korea.
The Avenuel complex, which houses imported designer labels and a section devoted to discount retailers, opened yesterday.
Three popular luxury brands - Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Hermes - will feature flagship stores on the first floor of Avenuel.
Avenuel introduced 33 new foreign brands in Korea, including H.Stern and Peck.
Today, the company is set to open Lotte Cinema, which will be the largest theater complex in Asia with 21 screens and 4,600 seats.
Lotte will unveil the shopping mall area, a duty-free shop and an aquarium tomorrow. The company said the duty-free shop will become the country’s largest with 420 brands.
The mall’s aquarium, again, will be the country’s largest with 650 marine species.
The conglomerate estimates the mall will generate 1.5 trillion won ($1.4 billion) in sales each year and 6,000 jobs.
“Lotte World Mall is the country’s largest shopping and cultural complex,” said So Jin-se, director of Lotte’s public relations division. “The venue will be one of the major landmarks in Asia.”
Lotte also expects the complex to quickly become a major attraction for foreign tourists.
“Lotte World Mall can contribute to boosting tourism and improving the local economy,” said Lee Won-woo, CEO of Lotte Corporation.
“Putting together theaters, luxury brands and concert halls, Lotte World Mall will be able to satisfy the diverse, evolving demands of consumers.”
Lotte has faced obstacles to the mall complex since it completed the building earlier this year. It asked for provisional service approval in June, which would have allowed the opening of parts of the complex while construction continued on other areas.
But the Seoul Metropolitan Government refused, saying traffic and safety issues needed to be fixed.
Lotte Group cleared a major hurdle in August by yielding to the Seoul city government’s demand and building transport tunnels around the landmark complex. The tunnels are still under construction.
It was only this month that the local government approved the early opening of all low-rise buildings that are part of Lotte World Mall on the condition that Lotte keeps working on the city’s safety requirements.
The company said in a statement it will try to reduce traffic congestion with underground tunnels and the expansion of bus stops.
BY PARK EUN-JEE [email@example.com]