Shinsegae finally gets into home shoppingShinsegae Group, one of the nation’s retail giants, entered the television home shopping business by acquiring an existing channel.
The Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning, the nation’s main TV authority, said Shinsegae’s affiliate E-Mart can become the largest shareholder of Dream Commerce, a TV-based e-commerce channel.
Shinsegae plans to assume control of more than 70 percent of the company’s shares from their current owner, Hwasung Industrial, a Daegu-based construction and retail company, over the next two weeks. Hwasung will maintain 30 percent of the company.
Television-based e-commerce, called T Commerce, is an emerging method of shopping in the retail industry, a hybrid of TV home shopping channels and online shopping. Consumers can watch home shopping channels while browse at the same time for a product and make payments via a remote control.
Shinsegae has hired some 30 home shopping staff and put them to work at an office at the group’s headquarters in Jung District, central Seoul.
Shinsegae is the only Korean retail giant that doesn’t own a home shopping channel.
Shinsegae’s main rivals have operated such channels.
This was not Shinsegae’s first attempt to acquire Dream Commerce.
Last year, Shinsegae applied to the ICT Ministry to acquire control of the channel, but the ministry didn’t allow it. “It is not right for Shinsegae to use T Commerce as an indirect tool to enter the regular TV home shopping market,” it said.
Shinsegae submitted a second request to the ministry in March following deregulation moves by the government.
The ministry postponed a decision from May to June, which seemed like a negative sign.
“The ministry hopes the management participation by E-Mart [Shinsegae], which has tons of know-how in the retail industry, can contribute in expanding the T Commerce industry,” the ICT Ministry wrote on Monday in a statement.
Shinsegae now owns all types of major retail outlets including department stores, large discount stores, convenience stores and a TV-based online shopping channel.
“As the retail industry has faced an overall slowdown, there was an increasing need for a new channel to retail products and services,” said a spokesperson from Shinsegae.
Meanwhile, Korea’s second largest telecom carrier KT said on Tuesday that it launched a customized product recommendation service for its T Commerce affiliate KTH Corporation’s platform. The service automatically analyzes subscribers’ data to recommend products.
BY LEE SO-AH[firstname.lastname@example.org]