Shinsegae Duty Free opens K-pop concert hall near store

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Shinsegae Duty Free opens K-pop concert hall near store

Fans of K-pop will soon be able to enjoy duty-free shopping and concerts within steps of each other in central Seoul.

Shinsegae DF, operator of Shinsegae Duty Free, said Tuesday that it will open a K-pop concert venue called BOYS24 Hall in Hoehyeon-dong, central Seoul, on Thursday, in a collaboration with Korean entertainment giant CJ E&M.

The 810-square-meter (8,719 square foot) space with 550 seats will act as an exclusive stage for newly-formed boy group Boys24, produced by CJ E&M and music agency Liveworks Company.

The venue occupies the 10th and 11th floors of the Mesa building, adjacent to the main branch of Shinsegae Department Store where its duty-free shop is located. The proximity is meant to target foreign shoppers seeking a diverse cultural experience.

Shinsegae Duty Free has been looking to differentiate itself from competitors like Lotte and Shilla by offering culture-related experiences and products in their shops. It was part of their main strategy when they made a bid to the government last year for a duty-free license.

Earlier this year, the company teamed up with YG Entertainment to open a store that sells figurines and stuffed dolls featuring YG-affiliated K-pop stars such as Big Bang and 2NE1.

With the concert hall, Shinsegae has taken its duty-free shop to the next level by offering entertainment options that have never been attempted by competitors before.

Shinsegae Duty Free said this new establishment will form a tourism cluster with the surrounding area that includes the bustling shopping district of Myeong-dong and the traditional Namdaemun Market, which are all within walking distance of the venue.

“We expect the BOYS24 Hall to play a big role in achieving Shinsegae Duty Free’s goal of becoming a duty-free shop that provides both shopping and a cultural experience,” a Shinsegae DF spokesperson said. “We also expect it to bring about a synergy effect in the local economy because the location is near Namdaemun and our own tax-exempt shop.”

CJ E&M and Shinsegae DF signed an agreement last year to cooperate in establishing an entertainment complex where Shinsegae would build the infrastructure and CJ E&M would provide the cultural content.

The venue will have an opening concert tomorrow, and its regular show will run at 8 p.m. on Fridays, 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Saturdays, and 2 p.m. on Sundays. Tickets cost 55,000 won ($49.11) and are available through the website Interpark.


BY JIN EUN-SOO [jin.eunsoo@joongang.co.kr]
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