China: Lotte Mart store closures surge as missile defense impasse continues
Just over a month ago, 39 stores owned by South Korea's Lotte Mart had been closed in China following consumer protests against the nearby country's decision to house the THAAD missile defense system.
That number has since increased to 87, out of the 99 stores in total in China.
The South Korean media has reported that if these closures continue for another two months, losses could reach KRW200 billion (US$177 million).
Despite the efforts of a "Save Lotte" movement creating incentives to buy the retailer's products, 48 outlets' one-month suspension periods had finished between March 31 and April 6, Yonhap News Agency reported.
If these outlets want to reopen for business they need to be inspected by the relevant Chinese authorities, but at the time of publication only seven stores had been inspected, from which six had their suspension periods extended until May.
Of the 87 Lotte Marts closed in China, 74 were reportedly ordered by Chinese authorities, the news agency reported.