HANOI – On a late summer day in Vo Chi Cong, Tay Ho district, a colossal commercial complex was packed with people wanting to savor all things Korean, that is, K-food, K-culture – K-everything.
K-Flavor, a restaurant area on the fourth floor of Lotte Mall West Lake Hanoi, was overflowing with locals taking selfies with a piece of art by Korean designer Baek Seung-ho, inspired by a traditional Korean house, in the background, and those looking for the perfect spot to enjoy Korean food.
“When I listen to Korean songs and eat Korean food here, it feels like I’m in Korea,” said a 22-year-old Vietnamese lad in front of K-Flavor’s entrance.
Located across a whopping 354,000 square meters, about 50 soccer fields in area, Lotte Mall West Lake Hanoi officially opens this Friday.
Since the start of its trial run, which began on July 28, the shopping mall – the largest in Vietnam – has attracted 2 million people, or about a quarter of Hanoi’s population.
Restaurant area, K-Flavor, in Lotte Mall West Lake Hanoi
“Lotte Mall West Lake Hanoi is a new landmark in Vietnam. We’ve literally poured all we have into it to create a premier landmark,” said Kim Sang-hyun, vice chairman and chief executive of Lotte Shopping Co.
Located in a prime residential and commercial district near West Lake, the biggest freshwater lake of Hanoi, northwest of the city, Lotte Mall aims to become a premier landmark and business hub in the capital, he said.
The complex encompasses a wide range of facilities, including shopping malls, a supermarket, a hotel, an aquarium and a cinema.
The shopping complex, accommodating 233 stores covering over 60% of the total area, will cater to the burgeoning young population in the new urban area.
With a unique mix of 85 signature stores, including well-known Western brands such as Nike Rise and TAG Heuer, the mall targets Vietnam’s young consumers, known as MZers, or millennials and young adults in Generation Z.
Highlights include KidZania, an interactive children's career experience theme park; Champion 1250, an indoor playground; and a multitude of cultural spaces including bookstores, galleries and cooking studios.
The basement houses Lotte Mart, a grocery store spread over roughly 4,300 square meters, and Bottle Bunker, a wine specialty store.
Complementing the shopping mall, a 23-story building houses a hotel and office space. The L7 West Lake Hanoi By Lotte offers 264 rooms and 192 residences, with 5-star facilities and services, company officials said.
Lotte World Aquarium Hanoi, spanning around 9,000 square meters and hosting a 3,400-ton tank, is the largest downtown aquarium in Vietnam. A standout feature is the main tank, flaunting curved acrylic panels 18 meters long and 5.8 meters high.
Lotte officials said they are pursuing a “Koreanization” strategy instead of localization to be successful in Vietnam.
“We’re not just playing K-pop songs and selling K-food. We are transplanting Korean culture here,” said a Lotte Shopping executive.
During the trial run period, about 30,000 people visited the shopping mall daily on average.
At Lotte Mart, people lined up to eat popular Korean food such as gimbap and tteokbokki at open kitchen-style stores
Lotte World Aquarium Hanoi attracted an average of over 10,000 visitors a day during Vietnam’s Independence Day holiday Aug. 1-4.
Lotte Cinema West Lake, which opened at the end of July, attracted over 70,000 people in just 50 days – more than any other movie theater in Hanoi over the same period.
Lotte plans to use Lotte Mall Westlake Hanoi as a stepping stone for expansion beyond Vietnam into other countries in Southeast Asia.
“We are now looking at opportunities in Cambodia and Laos,” said Lotte Department Store Chief Executive Jung Jun-ho.
HANOI – On a late summer day in Vo Chi Cong, Tay Ho district, a colossal commercial complex was packed with people wanting to savor all things Korean, th