South Korea’s Lotte Group today conducted a limited opening of Westlake Hanoi Mall, the biggest in Vietnam, ahead of the official inauguration on 22 September, website Pulse News reports.
The seven-storey shopping centre revives an earlier mall that was begun in 2010 but never finished. Lotte took over the scheme from Citra West Lake City Development in 2017 and spent $600m completing it.
It’s located on Vo Chi Cong Street by Hanoi’s largest lake, itself a tourist destination.
The total floor area is 35ha, the equivalent of 50 football fields. Around 60% of this space will be taken up by 233 stores. VNExpress reports that 25 of these are brands making their debut in the Vietnamese market.
There will also be a 264-room, five-star hotel, 192 serviced apartments and a 21-storey office tower.
Two of the storeys will be below ground. The first will house Lotte Mart, an innovative grocery store intending to boost the grocery display ratio by 90%.
There will also be the Lotte World Aquarium Hanoi, hosting a 3,400-ton tank, and the 1,000-seat Lotte Cinema.
According to a Lotte official, the mall will be a landmark in Vietnam allowing visitors to enjoy “a blend of nature, shopping, and culture experiences”.
Lotte invested in the Vietnamese mall after leaving China as part of the acrimonious fall-out from the 2016 “THAAD” affair. This was a diplomatic and commercial spat between China and South Korea following the latter’s decision to allow the US to station anti-ballistic missiles on its territory.