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South Korea embraces pop up retail – at a price !


There are several good areas for pop up around Seoul… but phew, the costs can be extreme.

I’ve read a couple of reports recently which discuss the popularity of temporary retail in Seoul (South Korea)… There’s nothing unusual about that, as pop ups are certainly gaining momentum (and a good foothold) in most major cities around the world… east…west…and everywhere in-between. One of the interesting things about the South Korean experience is the prevalence of big brands taking space for pop up shops – sometimes at staggering costs !

Global brands such as Nespresso (Switzerland), Levis (USA), Caterpillar (USA), Pilsner Urquell (Czech Republic) and Estee Lauder (USA) have recently opened pop up stores across Seoul – ‘though not all of them are in the prime retail precinct of Garosu-gil. It seems many of the pop up locations were chosen with customer demographics in mind (targeting specific age and gender groups for increased brand-awareness), whilst others found the price of setting up in Garosu-gil prohibitive… A “company in the beverage industry” was quoted as saying “we did some research… the places we liked cost more than 25million won” (A$26,000) per day…”* Another source said “besides the rental fee, it can cost several hundred million won (KRW$300,000,000 = A$300,000) in interior decorating costs”*. Ouch.

But it seems the returns may be significant also. Another article described pop up stores selling entertainment-linked merchandise (mainly boy bands’ – their clothing and stationery). The Lotte Department Store at Young Plaza, central Seoul offers the merchandise of nine bands, the result of an experiment launched early last year. Their initial pop-up trial with SMTown ran for 12 days and “raked in 630million won (A$660,000) – leading to a permanent installation. Sales from the SMTown boutique are around 800million won a month (A$835,000) – an official from Lotte said “…a store which brings in between 100million won and 200million won is considered outstanding…. SMTown are more than four times that of other shops…”#


*source : – Pop-up stores start popping up all over Seoul

#source : KoreaJoongangDaily – Big retailers wake up to idol merchandising



Featured image : Lotte Pop-Up Store, Seoul

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Lotte Pop-Up Store           Recent pop-up stores - Seoul




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