Seoul is the driving force of the Korean economy with the majority of the wealth centered here and is home to global companies such as Samsung, Hyundai and LG. With such a concentrated mass of people this has been the entry point for all international retailers such as Uniqlo, Zara, H&M, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Prada, Tom Ford, Ted Baker, Hollister and Burberry.
The luxury market in the last four years has grown significantly due to the number of tourists coming from mainland China and Japan. Korean culture has become a fascination in North and SE Asia and tourists flock here to experience this and to take advantage of lower import taxes and foreign exchange rates to come on shopping sprees for international fashion and cosmetic brands. This prompted Louis Vuitton to open up its first airport store in the world in the main international airport of Incheon.
The appetite for international brands is huge and the highly fashion conscious men and women in Seoul are obsessed with brands and the status boost that comes with it. As the majority of brands enter the market through Seoul, what is perceived as the “in thing” to have will quickly spread to the rest of the country and brands use the Seoul base as a springboard to expand into the other major cities.
Myeongdong is the busiest shopping area in the country and the area is effectively anchored by two enormous department stores offering luxury and mid priced retailers. Tourists, office workers and residents fill the pedestrianised streets surrounding the department stores which are the launching ground for most international brands and their flagship stores. As well as a huge amount of cosmetic stores catering to the tourists, brands such as H&M, Uniqlo, Zara, Forever 21, Mango, Nike, Adidas, Aldo, Superdry and Tommy Hilfiger all have one or more street locations.
Cheongdam in SE Seoul is the only location where luxury high street retailing occurs. Luxury retailers must have their flagship stores here and the boost to the brands stature is highly increased. Louis Vuitton was one of the first to arrive. Other large stores, which are present in this area, are Hermes, Armani, Loro Piana, Zegna, Gucci, Carolina Herrara and Nespresso. The area has very little foot traffic and the majority of people are driven or use the valet parking that all retailers offer.
The South West of Seoul has seen a lot of development from a fairly industrial area to an area with the majority of shopping malls in Korea including Times Square, D Cube City and IFC mall. The malls tend to be catered towards fast fashion brands with a high emphasis on additional draws to the malls such as large cinema complexes, hotels, concert arenas and excellent F&B offerings.
HONGDAE AND SINCHON
Hongdae and Sinchon in West Seoul has some of the largest concentration of students in Seoul. Three large universities are within just a few kilometres of each other and this large population of students means these high streets are an ideal location for those targeting the youth markets. Examples of those targeting the youth markets in Korea are retailers like Zara, Gap, Nike, Adidas, H&M etc. The last one just opened their flagship store in this area.
Garosugil, a street in Southern Seoul, has in the last two years become the must have location for retailers. The attractive tree lined street is full of affluent, trendy young women and men all looking to be seen and dressed in the coolest clothes. The popularity of the area has caught the eye of retailers and an influx of new brands over the last two years has transformed the street with Massimo Dutti, Forever 21, Diesel, Lacoste, Zara, Fossil, Hollister, Swarovski, Giordano and 8 Seconds all opening stores on the street.
GANGNAM STATIONGangnam station is the newly constructed part of Seoul and being home to the HQ of Samsung and many other corporations it is the busiest subway station in the country. Due to the nature of the clientele and the high foot traffic, the area is a prime target for mid priced retailers. The area surrounding the station is an important commercial and entertainment district. After PSY's hit song 'GANGNAM Style' had taken the world by storm, GANGNAM Station became a destination for foreign tourists wanting to experience the true 'GANGNAM Style.‘
Coex MallCoex Mall is the largest underground shopping center in Asia. It is located in the basement of the Korea World Trade Center, in the Gangnam area of Seoul. The mall is anchored by a Hyundai Department Store, Megabox Cinema, Coex Aquarium.Coex-mall located in Samseong station held its grand opening in October of 2014 after a period of renovation and remodeling. The mall is host to over 300 brands including major fast fashion brands.
PARNAS MALLPARNAS Mall, a 5600sqm shopping mall adjacent to Coex Mall is located below the Grand Intercontinental Hotel. What used to be a mere pathway corridor connecting Coex and Hyundai Department Store in the past has been reborn as an independent shopping center. PARNAS Mall is expected to attract many people and become a premium shopping spot as it is host to several high-end, trendy brands such as Massimo Dutti, Marimekko, Lepetto, Viabusstop, Dean & Deluca, and All Saints.
Times SquareTimes Square in the west of Seoul, a 126,800 sqm shopping complex that has been gaining increasing popularity since its opening in September 2009. Located near Yeongdeungpo Station on Subway Line 1, Yeongdeungpo Times Square is twice as large as COEX Mall in Samsung-dong (Gangnam), which had previously been the largest shopping mall in Korea. Times Square’s anchor tenants include Shinsegae Department Store, Emart, CGV Cinema, Marriott Hotel, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Paul Smith, Gucci, Burberry, Zara, Mango, Gap and Nike. Yeongdeungpo Times Square, the pioneer of a “western-style” shopping mall in Korea, is currently undergoing major renewal of its tenants. The mall aims to bring in new fast fashion brands, enhance lifestyle shopping themes, and launch medium-priced select-shops (collect shops).
D-cube CityD-Cube City is a 180,000 sqm shopping mall in the south western part of Seoul anchored by a five-star Sheraton Hotel, offices, art center and a large theatre. Other main retailers include Uniqlo, H&M, Zara, Bershka and Bebe. As Hyundai Department made a long term lease agreement with new landlord, the D-cube City mall was operated by Hyundai Department.
Lotte world MALLLotte World Mall, operated by the Lotte group has started business since October, 2014. It is the biggest shopping mall ever built in the country, with a gross floor area of 826,450sqm. Global fast fashion brands, and slightly more upscale spin-offs of the traditional fast fashion brands such as COS have launched their stores in the mall. Rest of the complex that is still under construction, such as the Lotte World Tower is to be completed by 2016, and will consist of office spaces as well as hotels and additional retail space. Upon completion, the Gross Lease Area will reach 383,470sqm; and Jamsil Lotte World Mall is expected to become a commercial landmark in South Korea.
IFC mallIFC mall in Yeouido an international-style shopping mall with 100 brands over three lower levels totalling in 40,000 square meters of floor space. It is located in one of the busiest business districts in Seoul and its anchor tenants include H&M, Hollister, CGV Cinema and the Conrad Hotel.
|SHOPPING CENTER TO WATCH OUT FOR|
|Total Size (Sq.m)||234,000 sqm|
|Planned Opening Date||Completion 2015|
|KEY AREAS / STREETS/SHOPPING CENTERS||CONSUMER PROFILE||MAJOR RETAILERS PRESENT||NEW ENTRANTS||TYPICAL RENT 3.3sqm (1py)||RANGE OF UNIT SIZES|
|Myeongdong||Mass market, Seoul’s busiest high street shopping location. Two of the best performing department stores also offering luxury||On Street: H&M, Zara, Uniqlo, Mango, Nike, Adidas, Body Shop, Forever 21, Superdry , American Apparel, Club Monaco; Dept Stores: LV, Gucci, Prada, Burberry, Tiffany, Paul Smith||Uniqlo 8 Seconds Super Dry Ted Baker||2,900,000 KRW per py per month||80-1500 sq m|
|Gangnam Station||Mass market. Seoul’s busiest subway station and surrounded by large office core||Zara, Massimo Dutti, Le Coq Sportif, Adidas, Nike, Uniqlo, Superdry, Calvin Klein Jeans, American Apparel||Cath Kidston, 8 Seconds, New Balance (Opening soon)||2,200,000 KRW per py per month||60-1000 sq m|
|Garosugil||Trendy, young and wealthy customers. Street has transformed in the last two years and is becoming more and more popular||Zara, Massimo Dutti, Forever 21, Camper, Fossil, Diesel, Lacoste,||Hollister||300,000 KRW per sq m per month||60-1200 sq m|
|Hongdae/Sinchon||Young student areas Mass market||Zara, Uniqlo, Nike, Gap, H&M||Gap, Uniqlo, H&M||1,080,000 KRW per py per month||100-1500 sq m|
|Cheongdam||Korea’s only luxury retailing street||Boss, Gucci, LV, Dolce & Gabbana, Rolls Royce, Zegna, Cartier, Ferragamo, UGG, Nespresso, Armani, 10 Corso Como||Carolina Herrera, Kate Spade, UGG||1,000,000 KRW per py per month||60-2000 sq m|
|Apgujeong||Wealthy residential neighbourhood attracting young people with attractive high street and large department stores||LV, Gucci, Prada, Tiffany etc H&M, Uniqlo, Club Monaco, Banana Republic, Diesel, Tommy Hilfiger||Uniqlo, H&M||800,000 KRW per –py per month||60-2000 sq m|
Data as of April 2015
The coffee shop market in Seoul is one of biggest in the world. International players Starbucks and Coffee Bean have between them almost 600 stores but they are left behind by local franchised Caffe Bene, Angel in us, Ediya and Hollys which between them have almost 2000 stores. It is very common to see 3-4 shops clustered next door to each other each over 1,000 sq.m and still busy. The market is continuing to grow rapidly too and Koreans have embraced the coffee culture very strongly.
Korean cuisine is generally still the preferred staple meal of the Korean diet although Western style cuisine is becoming increasingly popular, particularly amongst the younger generation. Other North Asian cuisines such as Japanese and Chinese are also very prevalent and popular with the wider Korean public and many of Korea’s most expensive restaurants fall in these categories
The majority of high end dining is located in the 5 star hotels located in Seoul. These include Park Hyatt, Grand Hyatt, Westin Chosun, W Hotel Seoul, Shilla Hotel, JW Marriot, Intercontinental, Hilton and newly opened Sheraton and Conrad Hotel.
The department stores all have large food courts in their basements with many smaller independent restaurants serving a variety of food. The upper floors of the stores also have more formal restaurants
Quick service restaurants (QSR) are also very prevalent in Korea with the leading local brand Lotteria (part of the Lotte group) in pole position in the industry. Burger King, Subway and Quiznos also have a presence in the country but McDonalds is the leading International QSR and is fast expanding its drive thru formats.
Multi level restaurant buildings are very common in most of the areas mentioned here. Due to street level rents being high most F&B establishments will be on the upper floors and this is something customers are accustomed to and is not seen as a disadvantage.
|KEY AREAS||CONSUMER PROFILE||FOOD & BEVERAGE OPERATOR INCLUDING||RENT FOR 3,500 SQFT UNIT|
|Myeongdong||Tourists, office workers, shoppers||Multiple Coffee shops, Korean cuisine and fast food including Pizza Hut, Mcdonalds, Smoothie King||650,000 KRW per sq m per month|
|Gangnam||Workers, trendy residents Lively drinking area||Club Eden, TGI Fridays, Korean BBQ, Haagen dazs||600,000 KRW per sq m per month|
|Itaewon||International restaurants Main expat area Lively drinking area||Saint Ex, Zelen, Paris Grill, Taco Bell, McDonalds, KFC, Burger King, multiple coffee shops||280,000 KRW per sq m per month|
|Hongdae||Students Lively drinking area weekends||Korean restaurants, multiple coffee shops||180,000 KRW per sq m per month|
|Apgujeong / Cheongdam||Affluent international and Koreans||Independent restaurants Many coffee shops||150,000 KRW per sq m per month|
|Department Stores||Generally the department stores cater to mid to upper market||Dean & Deluca, Jonny Rockets, Saboten, Korean restaurants||Percentage of turnover|
Data as of April 2015
Dan KimExecutive Director, Korea
Head of Retail Services
Cushman and Wakefield (Korea) Ltd.
6F Seoul Finance Center
136, Sejong-daero, Jung-gu
Seoul, 100-768, Korea
Tel: +82 2 3708 8832
Mob: +82 10 8775 6632