On August 24, Shinsegae Group Vice Chairman Chung Yong-jin said that the South Korean government’s new regulations on the business of major shopping malls should cover IKEA as well. According to the regulations, every major shopping mall has to be closed for two days each month like super-supermarkets.
Five days later, Andre Schmidtgall responsible for IKEA Korea’s retail business said in response that IKEA Korea is willing to comply with the regulations once the details become available. Still, he also mentioned that it would be better if consumers can visit IKEA at their convenience. At present, IKEA is classified as a furniture store and is not governed by the regulations based on the Distribution Industry Development Act.
“Shinsegae’s Starfield and IKEA have completely different concepts,” the IKEA Korea retail manager went on to say, adding, “It is very positive that different businesses compete with each other to create sustainable consumption.”
He also said that IKEA Korea is working on an online shopping mall and it is planning to make its debut within one year. “We are currently preparing to launch an e-commerce model,” he remarked, continuing, “Some time may be required to deal with technical matters like Internet networks, the signing of delivery service contracts, and so on.”