Free entry beats safety fears at Lotte World Mall

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Free entry beats safety fears at Lotte World Mall

Nearly 260,000 people visited Lotte World Mall from Saturday through Monday, when the company offered free access to its aquarium and movie theater before both were officially reopened Tuesday.

An average 86,000 people came to the mall per day during the period, more than 30 percent higher than April’s daily average of 66,000, Lotte Group said on Tuesday.

The number of Chinese and local visitors during the period jumped 20 percent and 30 percent compared to the daily average since the closures five months ago.

Lotte World Mall saw a 27 percent rise in sales to local customers and a 10 percent jump in sales to Chinese tourists, according to Lotte Corporation.

The aquarium drew an average of 2,000 visitors and Lotte Cinema 10,000 per day, boosting sales at nearby restaurants and cafes. Wangoog food court across from the aquarium saw a 50 percent jump in sales Saturday and Sunday.

“We expect the number of our visitors to Lotte World Mall to rise by 20,000 to 30,000 thanks to the reopening of the aquarium and cinema,” said Park Hyeon-cheol, head of business at Lotte Corporation.

“About 2,000 more jobs are expected to be created.”

Lotte said the visitor count on Tuesday, the official opening day for cinema and aquarium, is expected to hit 62,000, and number will probably hit the 100,000 mark by the weekend.

Seoul Metropolitan Government last Friday lifted the forced closure of the aquarium and cinema after safety inspections were completed by industry experts and academics.

The two facilities were shut down earlier this year when a crack leaking water was discovered in one of the aquarium’s acrylic tanks, and after moviegoers complained of tremors and noises in the theater.


BY PARK JUNG-YOUN [park.jungyoun@joongang.co.kr]

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