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South Korea’s Emart to open $60mn mall in Vietnam

Leading South Korean retailer Emart will mark its official entrance into Vietnam with a US$60 million shopping center slated for opening in October this year.

Leading South Korean retailer Emart will mark its official entrance into Vietnam with a US$60 million shopping center slated for opening in October this year.
Leading South Korean retailer Emart will mark its official entrance into Vietnam with a US$60 million shopping center slated for opening in October this year.

The maiden Emart store in the Southeast Asian country will be inaugurated in Go Vap District, Ho Chi Minh City, the retailer said during the Emart’s Partners Day on Tuesday.

The South Korean company sees Go Vap as one of the most developed and densely populated areas in Ho Chi Minh City, and will earmark $60 million for the 30,000 square meter store, it said.

The shopping mall will also include a restaurant-entertainment complex as Emart wants to turn its venue into a favorite destination for Vietnamese consumers.

Emart is now ready to enter Vietnam’s retail market after four years of seeking for a business opportunity, the company’s general director in Vietnam, Choi Kwang Ho, said at the Emart’s Partners Day.

The event attracted more than 300 guests who are manufacturers and suppliers in Ho Chi Minh City, who Choi said could have a chance to distribute their products via Emart’s international operations.

In 2011 Emart closed a deal with U&I Investment Corporation, a multifaceted Vietnamese company, to set up a joint venture to open retail stores across Vietnam, according to The Saigon Times Online.

The two then targeted to open their first supermarket in Hanoi and expand the network to 52 stores in other big cities by 2020.

But Emart has decided to open its first store on its own rather than through the joint venture, and the mall is located in Ho Chi Minh City instead of Hanoi.

Choi did not comment on the investment chance during the Tuesday meeting, according to The Saigon Times Online.

The South Korean director said 95 percent of the goods on sale at the Emart shopping center will be locally manufactured.

Choi also revealed that besides the Go Vap facility, Emart plans to open the second one in Tan Phu District, before expanding into other localities.

Emart is the largest retailer in South Korea with 140 stores across the country as of December 2012.

It was founded on November 12, 1993 by department store franchise Shinsegae as the first discount retailer in the East Asian country.

Emart will be the second major retailer from South Korea to operate in Vietnam, after Lotte, which is running ten supermarkets and shopping malls in Ho Chi Minh City and many other big cities.