Homeplus appoints Jay Lee as CEO
The retailer made the announcement three months after Lim Il-soon stepped down.
The new CEO studied business at Yonsei University and received an MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
He previously worked as the chief financial officer, chief operating officer and chief development officer at Pizza Hut Korea. He was also a CEO at KFC Korea and was recently a CEO at Carver Korea, known for AHC cosmetics brand.
Lee is scheduled to begin as CEO in May.
Homeplus “expects Jay Lee, the new CEO, to boost the growth of Homeplus for it to become a leading retailer connecting online and offline business based on his excellence in experience, expertise and leadership in consumer goods,” said the company in a statement.
Lee has not previously worked at an online platform.
Homeplus plans to utilize some of its stores as distribution centers for online delivery to boost its online sales. For that, the company will raise the number of pickers, who select groceries for online consumers, from the current 1,900 to 4,000, while more than doubling the number of cold-chain delivery trucks to 3,200 vehicles.
The company hopes to raise revenue generated online to 1.3 trillion won ($1.16 billion) this year, 1.8 trillion won in 2022 and 2.4 trillion won the following year. Last year, the company generated around a trillion won in revenue from online sales.
To improve its finances, Homeplus closed four of its stores last year, including those in Ansan, Gyeonggi and Daejeon. It plans to sell another store later this year.
While other major retailers, like Emart and Lotte Mart, have joined the price war, Homeplus on Tuesday said it will compete with quality products.
It said that consumers these days no longer change where they buy based on the difference of 10 won, and instead decided to focus on offering fresh produces and allowing consumers to return them within a week of purchase.
The company generated 7.3 trillion won in revenue from March 2019 through March 2020, down 4.69 percent on year. It swung to a 532.2-billion-won net loss during the same period.
BY JIN MIN-JI [firstname.lastname@example.org]