Starfield Goyang is now open for business

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Starfield Goyang is now open for business

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Left: A basketball court inside the recreational sports venue “Sports Monster;” Middle: The upgraded toy store “Toy Kingdom;” Right: The front view of Starfield Goyang’s main entrance in Gyeonggi. [SHINSEGAE]

Starfield Goyang opened its doors on Thursday, combining retail and entertainment in the hope of creating a “shopping theme park” to the northwest of Seoul, an area once considered a retail desert.

After a one-week trial period until Aug. 22, the complex will have its grand opening on Aug. 23. This is the third Starfield mall following branches in Hanam, Gyeonggi, and COEX in southern Seoul, which the group acquired and rebranded in December.

“Starfield Goyang was completed based on our experience in the Hanam branch combined with the regional characteristics of Goyang,” said Lim Young-lock, CEO of Shinsegae Property, which overlooks the operation of Starfield.

Entertainment, food and services take up 30 percent of the entire 135,500-square meter (33.6-acre) Goyang complex, staying true to the idea of a “shopping theme park” and taking into account the demographic of the area, which is dominated by apartment complexes and families with children. The parking lot has space for 4,500 vehicles.

“The space dedicated to provide experiential attractions like playgrounds or sports facilities was doubled compared to Hanam’s,” explained a Shinsegae spokesman.

The biggest attraction for kids is the upgraded “Toy Kingdom.” Half of the 6,600 square-meter toy store was kitted out as a playground with vocational role play settings and small amusement rides. Baby Circle, a baby supplies store, was expanded to include a baby food cafe and a studio which provides classes for mothers and children aged under 36 months.

Compared to the Hanam branch, Goyang’s Sports Monster - Starfield’s recreational sports venue - added 14 more facilities including an archery range and a center for Socatots, a football program for kids developed in the United Kingdom. The Aquafield water park has a larger outdoor pool and an expanded jjimjilbang (Korean style sauna).

Food is another important attraction point for major retail channels. Starfield Goyang has over 100 restaurants and eateries distributed in three food courts with different concepts on different floors. The Gourmet Street on the ground floor has a range of restaurants including Shake Shack. Eatopia on the third floor was designed with a fairground aesthetic, complete with cotton candy stalls. PK Kitchen, in the basement, has more casual and relatively low-priced eateries.

Starfield Goyang will have 560 global and domestic brands selling products inside the mall. Zara will have its biggest local branch ever there and H&M also set up a premium branch for the first time in Korea.

“Shinsegae Factory Store” on the first floor is an “off-price retail” shop Shinsegae is presenting for the first time in Korea. The business model has been actively deployed by global retailers since the early 2000s, as in Nordstrom’s Rack and Saks Fifth Avenue’s Saks Off Fifth.

The store sells out of season apparel from 130 brands assorted by product category in a 5,600 square meter open space. It will offer apparel from luxury brands like Armani and designer clothes selected by its high-end retailer Boon the Shop.

“Unlike outlets where department stores rent spaces to brands and don’t participate in store operation, off-price retailers will have apparel that we select in person, not to mention Shinsegae is in charge of store management,” explained a company spokesman.

Starfield Goyang aims to rake in revenue worth 650 billion won ($570.5 million) during its first year of operation.

Its major competitor in the region is Lotte Mall, which also opened last year with a focus on luring family consumers. Another is Ikea’s Goyang branch scheduled to open in October. All three branches will be located within a five to 10-minute drive of each other.

Shinsegae Group expects revenue from all three branches Starfield in 2018 to reach 1.8 trillion won. Additional stores are planned in Anseong, Gyeonggi, and Cheongna, Incheon.


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

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