Lotte staffers get new loyalty card

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Lotte staffers get new loyalty card

Lotte Group may not give its employees big bonuses, but the retail giant is planning to give a new credit card that will offer bigger discounts at Lotte retail and hospitality outlets, according to sources with knowledge of the matter.

Lotte Group is planning to issue Lotte Family W credit cards exclusively to its employees. The “W” stands for welfare.

It previously issued the 00 Card for Lotte Shopping employees and 01 Card for employees at other affiliates. The 00 Card had better advantages, offering 10 percent discounts at Lotte Department Store and 5 percent at Lotte Mart and Supermarket.

The 00 Card holders were envied within Lotte as it offered universal 10 percent discounts on all items at the department store including items on sale.

The 01 Card allowed 10 percent discounts on regular-priced items and 5 percent off at Lotte Mart and Supermarket.

On cosmetics and jewelry, discounts were limited to 5 percent for 01 Card holders, while 00 Card holders were entitled to 10 percent.

The new Lotte Famly W Card, which will be given to all Lotte employees, will get rid of such differences and offer 10 percent discounts at Lotte Department Store and 5 percent discounts at Lotte Mart and Supermarket, the same as the 00 Card.

Lotte is said to be still mulling a discount rate for Lotte Hotels as well. It is likely to allow 50 to 60 percent discounts on lodgings, 20 percent discounts on hotel restaurants and 10 percent discounts on beverages.

A previous 5 percent discount at Lotte Hi-Mart, an electronics retailer, will be expanded to 10 percent.

“We wanted to lift the spirits of our employees,” said Choi Moon-seok, a senior manager at Lotte Card. “Employees with high morale will offer better service to our customers.”

But there is said to be opposition within the group to such changes on worries that the discounts may hurt the retailers’ margins, which are already being hurt by a sales slump.

Whether the ex-employees will be able to keep their cards is still to be decided. In the past they could.

“There are a lot of us out there, they cannot just take away the [card],” said an ex-Lotte employee.


BY LEE HYUN-TEK, PARK JUNG-YOUN [park.jungyoun@joongang.co.kr]
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