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Daiso exits Chinese market, shuttering 200 stores

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A Daiso store in Seoul [YONHAP]

 
Daiso, a popular dollar-shop chain in Korea, exited the Chinese market in the first half of last year in the wake of China’s economic slowdown, a company spokesperson told the Korea JoongAng Daily on Monday.
 
“In conjunction with other domestic peers, Daiso had withdrawn all of its 200 Chinese stores named ‘Hasco’ by the first six months in 2023, primarily owing to China’s sluggish growth,” the spokesperson said. Daiso had been operating Hasco stores in a shop-in-shop format, or as spaces within larger retail stores designated to feature the products of specific brands.
 
 
Hasco had reportedly sold consumer goods, including kitchenware and cleaning products, since 2011 in the country. 
 
Daiso will focus on raising the competitiveness of its domestic business by diversifying and increasing its volume of brand household products to meet consumers’ taste and preference while keeping prices between 1,000 won ($0.73) and 5,000 won, according to the spokesperson.
 
Daiso became fully Korean-owned after its parent company, Asung HMP, acquired Japanese entity Daiso Sangyo’s entire 34.21 percent stake last December. The acquisition increased the Korean firm’s total ownership from 50.02 percent to 84.23 percent, making it the largest shareholder after 22 years of operation. The remaining shares are owned by Asung Daiso CEO Park Jung-boo’s two daughters.
 
While the deal’s exact value was not disclosed, it was estimated to amount to be around 500 billion won at the time of acquisition.
 
Asung Daiso, the operator of Daiso, registered 261.7 billion won in operating profit and 3.5 trillion won in sales last year, up 9.4 percent and 17.5 percent from 2022, according to its regulatory filing.
 
Meanwhile, Lotte Group is reported to have sold its “Lotte Town” theme park project in the northeastern city of Shenyang to a regional subsidiary. Lotte Department Store in Chengdu is the conglomerate’s only remaining business in China as of now. Lotte is expected to sell the remaining department business and, in doing so, withdraw all operations from China soon.

BY CHOI HAE-JIN [choi.haejin@joongang.co.kr]

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