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Department stores shake up displays to increase sales

Shops changing usual tactics to focus on customers’ lifestyles

June 05,2014
A view of a multi-bag store at Galleria Department Store’s luxury east hall in Apgujeong, southern Seoul, where designer bags are for sale.
Department stores are trying to break from monotonous display arrangements and the usual separation of floors by category, and are instead creating new ways to attract customers.

Some department stores are no longer following the trend of carrying womenswear on the fourth floor and menswear on the third. Food is being served on different floors now, too.

At a Lotte Department Store in Sogong-dong, the fashion brand Parsons displays its men’s and women’s clothing together on the third floor.

Part of the reason for the shift is that more than 20 percent of the store’s revenue comes from men’s apparel sales.

“Female consumers who visit the store to purchase clothes for themselves end up buying a piece for their boyfriend or husband as well,” said Kim Hee-won, an official for Lotte Department Store’s Private Brand team.

In another new sales tactic, on the 11th floor at a Lotte Department Store in Jamsil, a miscellaneous goods store called Bugi Bugi is doing business in the middle of the food court. The shop sells accessories, scarves and dolls for a discounted price.

“The idea is to encourage a little shopping while customers are waiting for food,” a Lotte Department Store official said.

On the first basement level of Shinsegae’s SSG Food Market is a store called Print Bakery, which sells artwork. The works at Print Bakery are created by renowned artists and a limited run is printed on acrylic.

“Selling artwork with groceries was quite a challenge, but sales have been 20 to 30 percent higher than what we aimed for,” a Shinsegae official said.

To bring in creative consumers, some department stores are giving shoppers the opportunity to create a unique item of their own.

Kim Se-ra, 32, recently paid a visit to a handmade goods store called Little Farmers where customers can make candles, mugs, leather shoes and bags in Hyundai Department Store in Samseong-dong. She made her own leather bag and chose the decorations she preferred.

Left: A view of the Parsons store inside a Lotte Department Store in Sogong-dong, central Seoul, where men’s and women’s apparel are displayed in the same area. Right: Customers make bags at a Little Farmers shop inside Hyundai Department Store. Provided by each retailer
“A leather craftsman at the store taught me one-on-one how to make it so the procedure wasn’t that difficult to follow,” she said. “I am satisfied with the bag I designed for myself, especially when people around me are impressed with it.”

Hyundai Department Store is planning to increase the number of Little Farmers stores, as the business has gained popularity.

A Little Farmers shop recently opened at the Hyundai Department Store in Ulsan, and another is set to open in Mok-dong, Seoul, later this year.

Niche stores customized for certain consumers’ lifestyles are also on the rise.

Molly’s Pet Shop, on the sixth floor of the Shinsegae Department Store in Uijeongbu, sells pet supplies as well as medical, beauty and fashion services for pets, providing animal lovers with a one-stop shopping service.

The Hyundai Department Store in Apgujeong opened a high-end baby food pop-up store on May 27, which sells porridge and baby snacks. The department store plans to open a single-person furniture shop in the fall to target customers in their 20s or 30s. Both specialty stores are a new direction for department stores.

Galleria Department store redesigned its bag section on the east side of the first floor last month to pack 14 luxury bag brands into one location.

“The same old arrangement and operation of stores won’t fulfill customers’ demands,” said Park Dong-oun, senior vice president of Hyundai Department Store. “Renovations will continue, not with a focus on products, but on consumers’ lifestyles.”

BY CHOI JI-YOUNG AND KIM HAE-YOON [haeyoonk1311@joongang.co.kr]






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