Minister of SMEs and Startups Hong Jong-hak said, "It is hard to ignore the possibility of IKEA's invasion of the market district hinterland. We are now considering whether to impose regulations or not."
In an interview with the “News 1,” Minister Hong said on Nov. 28, "We are investigating whether IKEA is infringing on the alley commercial supremacy and will decide whether to regulate it based on the results of the investigation."
"There is a good chance for IKEA to invade the market," Hong said. It is said that small business owners in the area where IKEA stores are located are appealing for damage.
He said, "The local autonomous government, which has the IKEA store, should have given permission to IKEA after fully reviewing the issue of infringement of the alley market, but there was something that did not."
However, Hong said, "Basically, the win-win relations between IKEA and small businesses is the most important. We have to seek the most effective ways."
He also expressed his hope that large companies such as IKEA would voluntarily seek ways to coexist with the local business community even without regulation. This means that if IKEA comes up with a win-win plan, it will be able to review regulations on the way the government is pushing for.
The Korea Small Business Institute is now conducting a study on the adequacy of regulations for major retail outlets, including IKEA, and the study will be completed within this month.