13 May 2020
The Weekly
South Korea

Lotte Shopping swung to the red in the first quarter, mainly due to an industry-wide slump caused by the novel coronavirus outbreak. The key unit of retail giant Lotte Group reported a net loss of 43.3bn won (US$35.3mn) on a consolidated basis for the January-March period, shifting from a profit of 109.2bn won a year earlier. It posted 52.1bn won in operating profit for the quarter, compared with 205.3bn won a year ago. Sales fell 8.3% on-year to 4.07tn won in the first quarter. The company attributed the grim business results to fewer people visiting offline stores and more staying at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Lotte Shopping joined a list of traditional retailers that have announced a slew of drastic and painful restructuring measures after delivering poor earnings in the face of harsh competition with e-commerce players. Last month, Lotte Shopping launched an ambitious online shopping website, Lotte On, which integrates the websites of Lotte's eight affiliates, including Lotte Department Store, the electronics unit Himart, Lotte Home Shopping and Lotte Duty Free.