SMEs Minister nominee says Ikea, Daiso should be regulated

By Won Ho-jung
  • Published : Nov 8, 2017 - 17:48
  • Updated : Nov 8, 2017 - 17:48
The nominee for the Ministry of SMEs and Startups said he believes that Ikea and Daiso should be subject to similar regulations as hypermarkets to prevent detriment to small businesses.

The comments were made as part of nominee Hong Jong-haak‘s response to written inquiries made by the National Assembly as part of his confirmation process.

Hong Jong-haak, nominated for the post of SMEs Minister (Yonhap)

“Even if some brands are categorized as specialized stores, they should be subject to operations regulations if they operate similarly to hypermarkets,” Hong wrote.

Current regulations require hypermarkets with an area of above 3,000 square meters to limit their operating hours and days to protect surrounding small businesses. Stores such as Ikea, which specialize in one type of product, are exempt.

Business figures such as Shinsegae Group Vice Chairman Chung Yong-jin have publicly called for regulations on Ikea, saying that the company should be treated similarly as large-scale shopping malls. 

Hong also addressed a question regarding the discount retailer Daiso, whose stores are not large enough to qualify for regulations, but have been accused of taking away market share from small businesses.

“I would utilize existing measures for SMEs to prevent a loophole in regulations, but if current measures are not enough I would consider additional regulatory moves,” Hong said.

By Won Ho-jung (