Lotte Mart escalates retail price war

The Lotte Mart app is promoting discounts and other points from the Lotte loyalty program until April 30. [LOTTE SHOPPING]

Lotte Mart has jumped into a price war that has escalated since Coupang went public last month.

Lotte Mart said on Wednesday it was “responding” to Emart’s price cuts last week. It goes further than its rival by increasing the points of the loyalty program with each purchase.

Last week, Emart said it offered price guarantees on 500 types of products, including milk, soft drinks and snacks. Emart said it was offering lower prices than Coupang, Lotte Mart or Homeplus, and would refund the difference if its prices did not match those of its competitors.

In response, Lotte Mart said it was offering the same prices as Emart starting Thursday. It also multiplies by five the “Lotte points” awarded for purchases.

Lotte Mart typically gives points equal to 0.1% to 0.5% of a purchase depending on how often a loyalty program member purchases from Lotte. The company decided to increase the points between 0.5 and 2.5 percent of a purchase.

Points can be spent at Lotte Mart and other Lotte outlets such as the Lotte Department Store.

“It can be said that the recent promotion was based on the desperation to prevent the [retail] market being stolen by online shopping, ”said Lee Chang-kyun, spokesperson for Lotte Shopping.

He added that the retail market has expanded with the arrival of e-commerce players and traditional retailers need to follow what consumers love about e-commerce operators: compare prices and get the lowest prices. .

Lotte Mart “hopes the promotion becomes an opportunity for people to shop regardless of price,” a company spokesperson said in a statement.

The Lotte Mart promotion lasts until April 30. The Emart promotion does not yet have an end date.

Earlier this week, Market Kurly pledged to offer the lowest prices on 60 types of food, including vegetables, fruits and meat. He said he would expand the categories in the coming months. It also offers 10 sets of products, like barbecue ribs, for 100 won ($ 0.09).

Coupang sparked the recent price war. Earlier this month, free shipping began on all orders, regardless of customer size or membership status.

“Competition between online and offline retailers will intensify due to the expansion of contactless consumption,” according to an IBK Securities research report.

Last year, traditional retailers’ sales fell 3.6 percent year on year, while online sales increased 18.4 percent, according to a report from the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Commerce. ‘Energy.

BY JIN MIN-JI [[email protected]]

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