|Shinsegae CEO Cha Jeong-ho|
But the department store franchise and retail giant refused to face the reality and kept focusing on their offline platforms until they reached the point where revenues had plunged and operating profits turned into record deficits.
|E-Mart CEO Kang Heui-seok|
Shinsegae will stick to its three-executive-director management system with only new CEO Cha Jeong-ho replacing former CEO Jang Jae-young.
Cha was CEO for Shinsegae's subsidiary Shinsegae International and he successfully led that firm. In particular, he made the cosmetic label "Vidi Vici" into a global brand and achieved turnaround for the firm's cosmetic business.
|Hyundai Department Store chairman Chung Ji-sun|
Shinsegae International has well positioned itself for the future and it's time for Cha to discover a new growth engine for Shinsegae.
Cha chose to erect a new department store in Daejeon that he hopes will become an iconic outlet in the central region of the country.
"Daejeon Science Complex" is set to open next year and will offer a variety of lifestyle experiences, from shopping, science, culture and nature, and is designed to be a new model for the future of the department store.
Cha has also started reimagining concepts of existing department stores in the country to give local customers what they want.
For instance, the Shinsegae department store in Yeongdeungpo learned that the bulk of their sales revenue came from the grocery department and as a result decided to relocate the food market to the first floor.
Previously, all department stores stationed luxury cosmetics on the first floor to entice female customers, who would be led to shop for clothing on the second floor.
The Youngdeungpo branch also opened a new street fashion space on the first floor to satisfy younger customers' tastes.
Cha said he will introduce customized shopping spaces at nine more department stores.
Two other executive directors Kweon Hyeok-goo and Kim Jung-sig will continue to serve their consecutive terms together with Cha.
Kweon and Kim are acknowledged for their stable business management while expanding the duty free businesses in Daegu, Hanam, Kimhae and Myeongdong. Last year, Shinsegae department store became the very first local outlet to record 2 trillion won revenue, which is a notable achievement amid the shrinking offline retail market.
E-Mart also appointed new executive director Kang Heui-seok, who will start a new electricity charging business for cars.
This is a new business sector for retail giant and the company said it has only applied for the business license at the moment.
For now, E-Mart only plans to implement recharging stations for electric vehicles as it expects and increasing number of customers will visit its supermarkets driving electric-only cars.
Hyundai Department Store reappointed chairman Chung Ji-sun as executive director.
Hyundai Department Store acknowledged that it is currently going through hardship due to the decrease in number of Chinese shoppers at duty free shops and decreasing values of Yuan and Yen recently.
However, the franchise hopes to make a rebound with its newly opening premium outlets in Daejeon and Namyangju this year while opening a new department store on Yeouido, Seoul, next year.