AEON to sell Ministop Korea

Date : 01 October 2018

With profitability continues to fall, AEON has announced that it will sell its convenience store chain in South Korea.

A tough decision

Operations at Ministop Korea have been under review for some time. Its performance has been deteriorating and suffered large profit decline (down by 23% year-on-year in 2017). AEON was hesitant to sell as the number of single and two-person households in Korean is increasing sharply – a key demographic that is driving growth in the convenience channel.  However, intense local competition (Shinsegae, GS Retail and Ministop: news round-up), recent increase of minimum wage and government regulations on opening new convenience stores all led to AEON changing its mind and decided to sell.

Prospective buyers

AEON has appointed Nomura as its advisory firm to sell Ministop Korea. There are several prospective buyers, including Shinsegae, Lotte and Hyundai Department store. Details of the selling have not been finalized and determined.

Currently AEON has 2,500 Ministop stores in South Korea. Shinsegae operates 3413 Emart24 stores and Lotte 9535 7-Eleven stores.

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