Emart to open men’s lifestyle store in Starfield

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Emart to open men’s lifestyle store in Starfield


A computer-generated image of Howdy’s brick-and-mortar store to open at Starfield’s Goyang branch in Gyeonggi, left, and the store’s poster, right. [EMART]

Emart announced Wednesday that it will open a new store specifically targeting male consumers in their 30s and 40s later this month.

The discount chain will open a 113-square-meter (1,216-square-foot) store dedicated to men’s goods in Starfield mall in Goyang, a city just northwest of Seoul. The store, named Howdy, will sell men’s fashion, toys and tech devices like drones. It will open on Aug. 17.

Howdy will stock various brands and products that appeal to men in this age group, including toys for kidults. Emart opened the online version of the store in July, uploading products from over 100 brands.

“Howdy was planned amid the rise of kidults and male trend setters in their 30s and 40s that show a value-based consumption pattern,” said Jung Yang-oh, Emart’s director for brand strategy. “In other words, they do not hesitate to open their wallets for items that fit with their values and fields of interest.”

Emart operates several stores that specialize in different product categories like electronics store Electro Mart, cosmetics brand SugarCup and No Brand, E-Mart’s in-house brand for household supplies and packaged food.

Howdy is Emart’s first store targeting a specific demographic rather than a product category. The shop will divide products into five sectors: Tech, Living, Hobby, Style and Grooming.

The Tech corner will include speakers, cameras and drones, while Living will offer fashionable household items. The Hobby section will include action figures, Legos and camping goods.

Style will sell fashion items like sunglasses and Grooming will include shaving products and hair wax.

A major attraction at the store will be a massive vending machine that will contain 400 goods including plastic action figures and Nike Jordan shoes. After purchasing a product through an electronic kiosk, customers will be able to watch the product’s progress on the conveyor belt system.

Emart’s Electro Mart was also devised with a similar target audience. The strategy to create a shop for men was a success, with male customers making up 32 percent of shoppers last year - higher than the 27.8 percent average at its discount chain.

“Electro Mart presents a wider selection of electronics including home devices like televisions or refrigerators,” explained an Emart spokesman. “Howdy, on the other hand, is a select shop that suggests products of various kinds that consumers of certain targets - in this case, kidults and trendsetters - would like.”

BY SONG KYOUNG-SON [song.kyoungson@joongang.co.kr]

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