TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - After last year's success in Jakarta, Lotte Shopping Avanue is expectantly looking ahead to spread its business wings. The South Korean retailer giant is planning to add five more shopping centers in Indonesia.
Met in his office three weeks ago, Lotte Shopping Avenue CEO Shuh Chang Suk, spoke to Tempo's Gustidha Budiartie and Wisnu Agung Prasetyo about the company's business plans. Excerpts:
How was business in Indonesia last year?
It was quite successful, and it continues to grow. On the opening day, June 22, 2013, we attracted 75,000 visitors because we invited Korean boy band Super Junior. The store's occupancy rate was pretty good at that time with 80 percent. We even had troubles closing the doors.
These days, the average number of visitors is 25,000 on weekdays. It is higher on weekends. It is quite high. Our outlets are also full. We have about 450 outlets with top brands joining us.
What was the reason behind choosing Jakarta as a place to open Lotte's shopping center when there are many other major cities in ASEAN that are more attractive?
Jakarta has a very attractive market and customer potential. The city's growing middle class and abundant youths are in line with our marketing target, which is 70 percent of young and middle class customers.
We also have been researching about Indonesia's market since 10 years ago through our parent company, Lotte Group. In 2008, we opened our Lotte Mart supermarkets for the first time here, and the results are good. It leads to the opening of our other stores: Lotte Shopping and Lotte Duty Free. As for Lotte Shopping Avenue, which was later shortened to LoVe, it is one of Lotte Group 60 business units that takes the form of a department store.
Can you tell us about Lotte Shopping Avenue's target as well as its achievements?
For the short term, next year we want the number of visitors to double and our sales to rise by 30 percent. In the long run we plan to build five more shopping centers in Indonesia until 2018. Two malls in Jakarta, and the rest in Surabaya or Medan.
How does Lotte Shopping Avenue synergize with Lotte's other business units of here in Indonesia?
We are different in concept from Lotte Mart because our target is the upper-middle class. We are yet able to bring Lotte Cinema to Indonesia, while Lotte Duty Free still depends on the government's policy. Lotte Shopping Avenue currently has synergized with Lotte Duty Free, which is the only tax-free, outside of the airport shop available in Indonesia.