Seoul City notifies districts of days off for big retailers

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Mar 20, 2012 - 20:09
  • Updated : Mar 20, 2012 - 20:09
Seoul City officials advised district offices Tuesday to set days on which major discount retailers must close, as part of a measure to protect smaller businesses.

According to Seoul Metropolitan Government, supermarkets, super supermarkets and discount outlets will now be forced to close for two days out of the month as directed by district officials.

According to the newly revised Distribution Industry Development Law, retail giants are required to close two days monthly, on either a Sunday or a holiday. The revision also states that the burden of enforcing the ordinance falls under the responsibility of the districts.

The recent revision is part of efforts by local government officials to stop the rapid expansion of corporations they say have drained business from small mom-and-pop stores.

According to Seoul City officials, 64 supermarkets and 267 super supermarkets fall under the revision and 292 stores currently operate without a single day off throughout the year.

The capital said that it would work with district officials to ensure that major discount retailers are adhering to the revision once it comes into effect. In order to reduce public inconvenience, districts will advertise the new measure through bus station flyers, advertisement panels, TV commercials and other mediums.

“We will work hard in order to protect the livelihoods of small business owners and promote a healthy market system, of which the mandatory days-off (for major discount retailers) is only the start,” said a city official.

By Robert Lee (